Physicians working in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at the George Washington University Hospital provide medical evaluation and consultation prior to surgery, pain control and support of life functions during surgery, supervisory care immediately following surgery and medical discharge from the recovery unit.
These physicians are either board-certified or board-eligible and have completed extensive training in their specialty and subspecialty areas. The team provides a wide range of anesthesia services from basic inpatient and outpatient services to the subspecialties of cardiac, obstetrical, ambulatory and neurosurgical anesthesia. It is also well known for its acute pain management service, which helps patients manage pain while in the hospital.
Podcast: GW Hospital’s Unique Approach to Pain Management
Marian Sherman, MD, discusses the unique approach GW Hospital takes in addressing both acute pain and chronic pain (lasting more than six months). Dr. Sherman explains various opioid alternatives, such as nerve block injections, ketamine infusions, and a combination of small doses of OTC pain relievers. She also explains the important role that each patient can play in their own pain management plan.
Today, the majority of the surgical procedures are performed on an ambulatory, or outpatient, basis. The Anesthesiology team at GW Hospital is a pioneer in the field of ambulatory anesthesia and combines technologically advanced techniques with convenience, professionalism and compassion to allow patients to return to their usual activities in as short a time as possible.
The anesthesiology team provides clinical anesthesia for obstetrical cases, including high-risk deliveries, vaginal deliveries and Cesarean sections (C-sections). Because many patients are classified as high risk, close consultation and cooperation are maintained with the obstetrics department. A variety of regional analgesia services are available for women in labor including epidural, spinal, combined spinal epidural and patient-controlled epidural.
Neuroanesthesiologists have extensive experience in all forms of neurological surgery. Patients with neurological disease must be evaluated carefully and have their anesthetic management tailored to their particular conditions and the procedures being performed. The neurophysiologic monitoring team uses electroencephalograms (EEGs) and other monitoring technologies to continuously assess the function of various central and peripheral nerve pathways to detect injury. Because the needs of the neurosurgical patient are unique, the coordination between the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the electrophysiologist and the operative team is both crucial and complex.
The pain management team at The GW Hospital performs inpatient and outpatient consultation for acute and chronic pain disorders. Services include epidural, patient-controlled analgesia for postoperative pain, medication management, therapeutic/diagnostic blocks and implanted devices.
The team of cardiovascular anesthesiologists is well-versed in complex thoraco-abdominal aortic reconstruction and aortic arch surgery involving hypothermic arrest, as well as in routine cardiac, thoracic and major vascular surgical cases. These procedures employ advanced techniques in monitoring and management, including the use of transcranial doppler, EEG and transesophageal echocardiography.
Critical Care Medicine
The Critical Care Medicine division is responsible for patient care in an 18-bed medical-surgical ICU. Anesthesiologists and critical care physicians provide multidisciplinary care for all types of medical and surgical patients, including postoperative open heart and trauma cases. The Critical Care Division has been in existence for 25 years and is internationally known for its expertise in clinical care and outcomes research.
Acute Pain Management Service
The Acute Pain Management Service is a consult service that helps patients manage post-operative and post-traumatic pain. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and uses many of the latest techniques to help patients reduce and control pain during their hospital stay.
New Advances in Anesthesia Available at GW Hospital
ON-Q® Pain Relief System - Continuously delivers pain medication, for up to 72 hours, through a tiny tube to the nerves that trigger sensation at the surgical incision site. Patients are able to leave the hospital with the ON-Q in place and remove at home when empty. The ON-Q pain pump currently is used in orthopedic surgeries, mastectomies and trauma cases.
SonoSite MicroMaxx® - This portable ultrasound device that allows anesthesiologists to see the nerves and surrounding tissue on a monitor, allowing them to precisely target the injection.