Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine


The Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine is recognised internationally as a provider of excellent clinical service, training and research. Our Divisions include Acute Pain Service , Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia, Chronic Pain Management Clinic, Critical Care and Paediatric Anaesthesia.

Located in Groote Schuur Hospital, the main teaching hospital of the University of Cape Town, the department provides a wide range of mainly tertiary services including all major surgical disciplines. Anaesthesia services are provided to the teaching hospitals affiliated to the Faculty of Health Sciences.

We are proud to have provided anaesthesia for the world's first heart transplant, and we continue to have a strong interest in cardiac anaesthesia. Our Nagin Parbhoo Museum includes displays of anaesthesia equipment and related items dating back to the 1800's. 


The Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine includes five Divisions:

The focus is on postoperative patients using advanced pain management techniques such as epidural, wound or peri-neural catheters and patient-controlled analgesia pumps.

This division provides anaesthesic services for complex paediatric cases, grown-up congenital heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, ischaemic heart disease, degenerative heart disease, minimally invasive repair and replacement of heart valves, trans-aortic valve replacements and transapical valve replacements (called TAVI’S) and heart transplants, in fact, the entire spectrum of cardiac surgery. 

This Multi-Disciplinary clinic’s goal is to provide comprehensive chronic pain assessment and multi-modal treatment and recommendations by a group of medical health practitioners which include Anaesthetists, Physiotherapists, Psychiatrists and Psychologists. We provide cost-effective and thorough care, with our goal being able to work with patients to restore them to their maximum functionality.

The multi-disciplinary combined Intensive Care Units with a variety of patient types including critically injured adult trauma (motor vehicle accidents, gunshots and stabbings), organ transplantation recipients, cardiothoracic surgery patients, and a mix of medical, obstetric and surgical cases with high anaesthetic risk. This multi-disciplinary facility provides a training platform for registrars in training in various disciplines, critical care nursing sisters, clinical technologists and various other health professionals.

Training in Paediatric Anaesthesia is offered across many specialties including; cardiothoracics, liver transplantation, burns, neurosurgery, general surgery, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, ENT, urology, plastics and paediatric sedation.