The Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for patients requiring neurosurgical, vascular and thoracic anesthesia.

  • Phone: 617-726-3030

Neurosurgical, Vascular and Thoracic Anesthesia Division

The Neurosurgical, Vascular and Thoracic Anesthesia Division in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital provides specialized care for patients with complex medical and surgical needs. Our highly skilled and experienced staff members are experts in their field. We utilize the latest innovations in technology to care for patients and work closely with a team of experienced clinical engineers to continually advance and support that technology.

Anesthesiologist Olof Viktorsdottir, MD (left), and Adrian Iglesias, CRNA, work collaboratively to monitor a patient's vital signs during a complex neurovascular procedure.

Anesthesiologist Olof Viktorsdottir, MD (left), and Adrian Iglesias, CRNA, work collaboratively to monitor a patient's vital signs during a complex neurovascular procedure.

Coordinated Approach to Patient Care

Our multidisciplinary team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and administrators provides comprehensive anesthetic care for our patients. Our services are highly specialized to meet the needs of patients undergoing complex procedures, including interventional radiology, which utilizes minimally invasive, image-guided techniques to diagnose and treat vascular and neurovascular diseases.

We collaborate closely with surgeons in the departments of Neurosurgery, Thoracic Surgery, Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, as well as interventional and neurointerventional radiologists in the Department of Radiology, to recommend the best anesthetic service for their specific procedures, ensuring that patients receive individualized care.

Neuroanesthesia

The Mass General Neuroanesthesia service utilizes the latest advances in neuroscience and technology to care for patients undergoing surgical and interventional radiology procedures. Our experienced group of neuroanesthesiologists works closely with Mass General neurosurgeons to provide perioperative care for patients with conditions such as intracranial lesions and bleeding, head trauma, stoke, epilepsy, intracranial aneurysms and vascular malformations.

Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) is used to differentiate more precisely between healthy brain tissue and tumor tissue during surgical procedures. This new technology allows for better precision in complicated neurologic surgical procedures and enables the neurosurgeons to provide the most advanced care available to our patients. Our anesthesia providers have specific expertise in the management of patients undergoing procedures involving iMRI. Read about the first surgical case performed at Mass General’s Lunder Building using iMRI

Our expert team of neurophysiologists provides intraoperative neurophysiology monitoring and early detection of reversible neurophysiological dysfunction during surgery, which allows prompt intervention to prevent permanent damage.

Neurosurgical procedures for which we provide anesthesia services include:

  • Complex intracranial tumor surgery
  • Complex spine procedures
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Implantation of deep brain stimulators
  • Surgery for epilepsy and movement disorders
  • Surgery for seizure control

Vascular AnesthesiaPatients who require vascular surgery often have more than one medical condition which merits additional specialized anesthetic care. Our team of vascular anesthesiologists works in close collaboration with our vascular surgeons to provide the highest level care tailored to our patients. 

We have significant experience in the perioperative and intraoperative care of patients who require all types of vascular procedures, including:

  • Aortic surgery (open and endovascular repairs)
  • Carotid artery revascularization
  • Carotid-subclavian bypass
  • Carotid body tumor resection
  • First rib resection
  • Peripheral vascular surgery
  • Resection of Kommerell’s diverticulum
  • Venous surgical procedures 

Thoracic Anesthesia

The Mass General thoracic anesthesia service is highly specialized, with a focus on airway reconstruction from the larynx to the trachea to the lungs. We continuously collaborate with our surgeons as part of a coordinated team approach that comprises skillful practice in surgery, anesthesia and nursing.

Thoracic procedures for which we provide anesthesia services include:

  • Esophagectomy
  • Interventional pulmonology
  • Lung and airway surgery
  • Surgery on the chest wall and the other organs in the chest except the heart, such as lymph nodes, thymus, thyroid and pleura
  • Surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Tracheal surgery
  • Voice surgery in collaboration with the Mass General Voice Center

Patient Experience

All patients have the opportunity to ask questions of their care team on the day of their surgery. Our expert team of anesthesiologists and pain medicine specialists follows you before, during and after your procedure to ensure your comfort at all stages of treatment.

If you have had complications with prior surgeries, or may have questions about your anesthesia care, you will have the opportunity to meet with an anesthesiologist and other members of the pain medicine team prior to surgery. During this consultation, we review your medical history and discuss anesthesia and pain management options. We will work with you and your surgeon to develop the most appropriate treatment plan to meet your needs.

Innovative Research

Our clinicians perform extensive research in the field of anesthesia. Research topics include brain protection, long-term effects of anesthetics on brain development, lung protection and optimal anesthetic depth. Learn more about our research

Our patients may have the opportunity to participate in a clinical research study. If you are interested in participating in a study, your doctor can help determine whether or not you qualify, and will provide you with detailed information to review.

Education

The Neurosurgical, Vascular and Thoracic Anesthesia Division is committed to educating the next generation of leaders in the field of anesthesia. Our education philosophy is centered on providing the best care for patients, in collaboration with surgeons and the entire care team.

The core of our education for residents and fellows includes:

  • One-on-one time with faculty discussing particular cases (beforehand and in real time)
  • Mix of hands-on practical teaching, with respect to procedures and data/theory with journal articles
  • Weekly formal didactic sessions (small group discussions on specific anesthetic approaches to procedures or data related to specific cases or anesthetic management)

All residents and fellows acquire a standard skill set during rotation. Cases are distributed as evenly as possible. Residents and fellows have the opportunity to experience above and beyond the required number of cases and care for patients with complex medical and surgical needs.

Mass General Difference

Mass General is consistently ranked among the best hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Our ranking is based on our quality of care, patient safety and reputation in more than a dozen different specialties. Our commitment to excellence means that we work to ensure that you receive the best care at all points during your visit.

The Neurosurgical, Vascular and Thoracic Anesthesia Division in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine has a long-standing history of both innovating prospective care and caring for patients with complex medical issues. Our patients benefit from shared expertise, leading research, and our commitment to quality and excellence.