Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Cardiovascular Anesthesiology


a model of the human heart

The Cardiovascular Anesthesia Division of the Department of Anesthesiology at Houston Methodist Hospital provides operative anesthesia care and post-operative critical care services at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart Center.

The team consists of fellowship-trained anesthesiologists and highly skilled certified registered nurse anesthetists, who administer anesthesia in the cardiovascular operating rooms. Critical care board-certified intensivists and mid-level providers with certification as physician assistants or nurse practitioners also are on staff.

Coverage is provided on a 24-hour basis in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU). The core groups for both of these teams have supported Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center surgical activities since the Heart Center's inception, with a recent transition to The Methodist Hospital Physician Organization (TMHPO).

The CVICU is one of two critical care units at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and one of five critical care units at Houston Methodist Hospital. A multidisciplinary staff provides care for patients in this high acuity, 40-bed unit. Many of the patients in the CVICU require advanced hemodynamic monitoring, vasoactive medication support, and in some cases, mechanical support devices.

The intensivist team works in collaboration with other physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, cardiac rehabilitation therapists, nutritionists, patient care assistants and chaplains to provide the highest quality patient care.


The Anesthesia Division of the Department of Anesthesiology supports Houston Methodist Hospital's 2010 Vision to become a top-tier academic medical center of the highest rank through excellence in patient care, research and education.

The core group of the anesthesia faculty, both in the cardiovascular operating rooms and intensive care unit, has extensive experience in teaching trainees at many levels. Currently, the department offers a fellowship in cardiovascular anesthesia in conjunction with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHSCH).

In addition, the department offers specialty rotations in cardiovascular anesthesia to GME-approved residency programs including:

  • University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Tulane University
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • Residents from the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium (SAUSHEC) are expected to begin rotations in July 2006.

The division also supports the education of student nurse anesthetists from local programs including Baylor and UTHSCH for experience in cardiothoracic/vascular anesthesia.

Trainees are involved in the management of various procedures including all types of open heart surgery, thoracic surgery, major vascular surgery, transplantation, including heart, lung and kidney. They also are educated in the discipline of intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography, with fellows spending extra time in this particular area. Residents from several other TMH programs have the opportunity to participate in specialty rotations in neuroanesthesia, regional anesthesia and pain management.


Houston Methodist's primary affiliation with Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University and the establishment of Houston Methodist Research Institute (TMHRI) are instrumental in the development of research opportunities within the division.

Current research includes:

  • coagulation studies in post operative patients
  • a clinical trial monitoring muscle activity following the administration of reversal agents in pulmonary-compromised patients
  • a study on the risks of mobilizing patients with femoral arterial lines


The Cardiovascular Anesthesia Division is led by Dr. Joseph Naples, who joined TMHPO in May 2005. He also chairs the Department of Anesthesiology. He is a graduate of Youngstown State University and the St. Louis University School of Medicine. He completed anesthesiology training at what is now Northeastern Ohio University.

Prior to joining Houston Methodist, Dr. Naples was a faculty member of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. During the seven years prior to his departure, he served as department chairman. In addition, he served for three years as president of the Medical Dental Staff at University Hospital in San Antonio, and prior to that, as chief of Anesthesia and Surgical Services.

Dr. Naples is best known for his work in cardiothoracic, vascular and transplantation anesthesia. During his prior tenure at Houston Methodist Hospital (1980 – 1990), he led the Houston Methodist Baylor anesthesia team in the development of heart, lung and liver transplantation procedures.

For more information about the Cardiovascular Anesthesia Division of the Department of Anesthesiology, call 713-441-3620.