Adult Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia

All faculty in our division are fellowship-trained in cardiovascular and thoracic anesthesia and provide anesthesia for scheduled and emergency cardiac, thoracic, and vascular surgeries, as well as interventional cardiology procedures.

Cardiac procedures include coronary artery bypass surgery, valve surgery, heart transplants, ventricular assist devices, and ascending aortic aneurysms/dissections. Thoracic procedures include lung resections, esophagus surgery, mediastinal masses, lung transplants, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). UW Health is a major center for complex aortic surgery.

In the cath lab, we provide anesthesia for ablations and laser lead extractions, as well as MitraClip, Watchman, and Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedures. Vascular procedures include bypasses, endarterectomies, aneurysms, and dissection.

Our division also provides state-of-the-art anesthesia with intensive monitoring, including transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography. We are well known for
our expertise in thoracic aortic aneurysms and transplants.

Each year, two fellows complete their training in the accredited cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia fellowship. Our fellows experience wide-ranging, in-depth clinical experience in cardiac, thoracic, vascular, and thoracic anesthesia, in addition to rotations in echocardiography, critical care, pediatric congenital anesthesia, and interventional cardiology procedures. Upon completion, fellows obtain the National Board of Echocardiography Advanced Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography Certification.

Division Highlight

Dr. Eric Simon, along with colleague Dr. Patrick Meyer, is beginning a clinical research trial investigating the use of bilateral pecto-intercostal fascial plane blocks with liposomal bupivacaine for analgesia following median sternotomy in elective cardiac surgery patients. Validation of the safety and efficacy of the pecto-intercostal fascial plane block will have major implications for enhanced recovery after cardiac surgery, potentially leading to improved patient outcomes and decreased healthcare costs.

Division Chief


Katherine Kozarek, MD

Interim Division Chief: Cardiothoracic Anesthesia
Associate Professor
608 263-8100
Email Dr. Kozarek

CT Group photo 2023
Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery 2023: Pictured: Aaron Chopee, MD, John-Henry Harrison, MD, Martha Wynn, MD, Eric Simon, MD, Joshua Sebranek, MD. Not Pictured: Robert Arrigo, MD, Christopher Cassara, MD, John Dollerschell, MD, Stuart Feichtinger, MD, Diane Head, MD, Jonathan Kay, MD, Katherine Kozarek, MD, Mary McSweeney, MD, Jeffrey Olech, MD, Justin Tawil, MD.