Department of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia and Intensive Care @ Ospedale San Raffaele

The Cardiothoracic Anesthesia and Intensive Care Unit deals with critically ill patients for cardiovascular conditions and follows patients throughout the hospitalization process - from their admission to the hospital until their discharge - for:

  • Advanced heart or respiratory failure
  • Cardiogenic shock or refractory cardiac arrest
  • Acute respiratory failure
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Vascular surgery
  • Cardiac catheterization procedures
  • Cardiac electrophysiology procedures
  • Thoracic surgery

For the management and treatment of cardiogenic shock, refractory cardiac arrest, and acute respiratory failure, the IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital has been recognized by the Lombardy Region as a 3rd level Reference Center, thanks to the skills acquired in this field and the use of cutting-edge technologies.

In the operating theaters, we offer a personalized intraoperative anesthetic management with a different anesthesia regimen, either inhalation, intravenous or loco-regional, administered based on the surgical intervention and the characteristics and needs of each patient.

Patients are always subjected to advanced monitoring of cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, and neuromuscular functions. In particular, they can benefit from the use of BIS technology, which allows to administer the correct amount of anesthetic and check the depth of anesthesia.

Particular attention is given to the prevention and correct management of post-operative pain with the application of continuous loco-regional anesthesia techniques and analgesia systems managed directly by the patient.

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Our excellence in numbers


highly complex procedures every year


patients treated with ECMO every year

Conditions we take care of at this Department

Notable advanced technological equipment

  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
  • Impella percutaneous ventricular assist device
  • Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) 
  • Extracorporeal blood purification therapy
  • Transesophageal echocardiography

Do you need an appointment?

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Meet our team

Head physician

Alberto Zangrillo

Anesthesiologist and Intensivist
Alberto Zangrillo

Featured physicians

Ospedale San Raffaele

The San Raffaele Research Hospital is a highly specialized multi-disciplinary medical center of world importance, which embodies the integrity of the treatment, clinical research and teaching activities. San Raffaele provides treatment in all existing medical fields, which allows this center to take care of the most complex patient cases. The Hospital is recognized as IRCCS (Scientific Institute for Research and Healthcare) for its research in molecular medicine and innovative treatments application, such as the gene therapy.

The hospital is a multi-specialty center with more than 50 clinical specialties available and with over 1600 beds; it is accredited by the Italian National Health System to provide care to both public and private, Italian and international patients. In 2018 the San Raffaele Hospital performed over 51,000 patient admissions, 72,000 emergency room encounters and delivered over 1.5 million outpatient medical services. It is widely regarded as the most celebrated hospital in the country and among the most reputable medical centers in Europe. San Raffaele’s wards and operating theatres are equipped with the most advanced machines, such as PET, PET/CT, Gamma Knife, Cyber Knife, Rapid Arc, Tomotherapy. San Raffaele’s Radiotherapy Unit was the first place in Europe to install Tomotherapy in 2004. Nowadays this Unit confirms to be one of the most experienced worldwide; it has developed numerous protocols for cancer treatment of the prostate, breast, central nervous system, brain, liver, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, and others. The Oncological Board of the Hospital consisting of diagnosticians, clinical oncologists, immunologists, surgeons and radiotherapists, hold weekly meetings to discuss oncological patients’ pathways in a multidisciplinary manner.

Beside its Cancer Center, San Raffaele is well-known for its medical know-how in cardiology and cardiac surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal tract surgery, liver surgery, pancreas surgery, transplant medicine, gynecology and obstetrics, urology, dermatology, ophthalmology, immunology, rheumatology and pediatrics.

San Raffaele is a pioneer in the field of gene medicine and treatment of rare immunologic and genetic diseases. San Raffaele Scientific Institute is where the first in the world gene therapy with stem cells was created, named Strimvelis, for patients affected by ADA-SCID syndrome.

The Research at the San Raffaele Hospital focuses on integrating basic, translational and clinical research to provide the most advanced care to the patients. It counts on over 1,500 scientists, working in state-of-the-art facilities covering a surface of 130,000 square meters, and have produced over 1,446 scientific publications in 2018. Research at San Raffaele aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying a variety of important human diseases and at identifying new targets and new therapeutic strategies to treat them.

The San Raffaele Hospital hosts the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, a fully private university with a complete Medical School (including specialty courses and residencies), Nursing School, a Psychology graduate and post-graduate programs, and Allied Health Professions School. The mission of the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University is to answer the question "Quid est homo?" in the belief that the human being is a biological, psychological and spiritual unicum. Since 2010 the San Raffaele Hospital also hosts the International MD Program, the only graduate program accredited to license Medical Doctors in both Europe and North America.


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