Group picture of team

The Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Team is focused solely on patient care. In fact, there is probably no other surgical specialty for which a successful outcome depends so much on good teamwork than congenital cardiothoracic surgery. For patients with heart disease, the pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist has a central role in coordinating team-based surgical care.

Keeping the patient unconscious and pain-free while surgery is taking place is only part of the job. The pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist plays a critical part in facilitating surgery, monitoring physiologic parameters, optimizing and protecting vital organ function, controlling blood coagulation, and reducing the inflammatory response from cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Each part of the surgical procedure requires the specific attention of the cardiac anesthesiologist, whether that is the period of poor heart function during anesthesia before a heart transplantation, monitoring anesthesia and body functions during CPB, or assisting the patient’s heart in separating from CPB. The cardiac anesthesiologist has the ability to monitor the patient’s overall well-being so that the cardiac surgeon is allowed to give full attention to the operation.

Beyond caring for patients having cardiac surgery, our cardiac anesthesiologists also provide anesthesia care for infants, children, and adults with significant heart disease who are having procedures or other kinds of surgery ranging from sedation for MRI scans to general anesthesia for tonsillectomies or major orthopedic surgery. Patients with congenital heart disease often require anesthetic management tailored to their specific heart condition and specialized monitoring familiar to the cardiac anesthesiologist.

Cardiac Staff

Michael Schmitz, M.D.
Vice Chief and Director of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Anesthesia

Rahul Dasgupta, M.D.

Bryan Watkins, M.D.

Michael White, M.D.


Contact Us

1 Children’s Way, Slot 203
Little Rock, Arkansas
Phone: 501-364-2933
Fax: 501-364-2939