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Anaesthesia

​​Our department was established in 1985. As a department, we have always committed ourselves to excel in clinical care, medical education and research, some of which are detailed in this website.


Please feel free to contact us for any general enquiries, Anaesthesia-related services and / or career opportunities.

Department of Anaesthesia
Main Building, Level 3 (near Lift Lobby 1)
National University Hospital
5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, S(119074)

Contact Details:
Ms Thilagavathi
Tel: (65) 6772 4208
Fax: (65) 6777 5702


Clinical Anaesthesia

The Department of Anaesthesia provides anaesthesia services for both paediatrics and adult patients in all routine and sub-specialised surgical and interventional procedures. More than 26,000 anaesthetic sessions were performed by the department in 2016.

The highlights of our anaesthesia services include:

  • Paediatric cardiac anaesthesia
  • Cardiothoracic and vascular anaesthesia
  • Paediatric anaesthesia, including neonates
  • Anaesthesia for transplant surgery
  • Anaesthesia and analgesia for gynaecological-obstetrics services, including fetoscopic surgeries and EXIT (Ex Utero Intrapartum Treatment) procedures
  • Anaesthesia for orthopaedic surgery, including paediatric orthopaedic, musculoskeletal oncological and trauma surgery  
  • Anaesthesia for difficult spine surgery, providing open and minimally invasive surgical options for a wide range of conditions, from idiopathic scoliosis for paediatric patients to primary and secondary tumours of the spine
  • Anaesthesia for neurosurgical surgical procedures, including awake craniotomies and neurointerventional radiological procedures
  • Anaesthesia for otorhinolaryngology, eye, plastics and dental surgeries, including resection and reconstructive surgery for cancer of the head and neck region for both adults and paediatric patients
  • Anaesthesia for thoracic, gastrointestinal, urological and gynaecological cancer surgery, as well as procedures ranging from open to minimally invasive (including robotic) surgeries to radio-oncological services
  • In addition to clinical anaesthesia, our department provides critical care, pain management and perioperative medicine service

Perioperative Medicine

Life expectancy is increasing. With co-morbidities that accumulate with age, the volume of surgery is expected to rise. Moreover, patients presenting for surgery will have increasingly complex medical issues. Surgical procedures may be long and complex, and come with their attendant risks.

The Department of Anaesthesia provides perioperative care for our patients during this critical period in both outpatient and inpatient settings. The department is committed to minimising the risks for our patients and maximising the benefit from their surgeries.

Our outpatient services are based in the 16a Anaesthesia, Pain Management and Acupuncture Clinic and our inpatients are seen by our on-call specialists.

Our perioperative care includes:

  • Assessing and advising on the perioperative risks of our patients
  • Optimising the control of medical conditions and mitigating perioperative risks
  • Engaging in multi-disciplinary discussions to formulate a perioperative management plan
  • Provision of information to allow patients and their relatives to better understand their medical condition, perioperative plan and the risks involved
  • Advising on the options of pain relief, such as labour pain

Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU)

The Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) is a 15-bedded unit that provides critical care to adult patients who have undergone general and / or specialty surgical procedures. The unit is managed by accredited intensivists – anaesthetists, and the team comprises an attending intensivist, a registrar, senior and junior residents, clinical fellows and nurses. We work in a multi-disciplinary environment which further includes allied health professionals, including pharmacists, respiratory therapists, physiotherapists, speech therapists, dietitians and medical social workers. Together, we aspire to deliver compassionate bedside care, driven by evidence-based practices.

The surgical disciplines, which are managed by the unit, are neurosurgery, general surgery, otorhinolaryngology (ENT), urology, orthopaedics, obstetrics and gynaecology, trauma, and solid organ transplantations such as liver and kidney. In addition, on an ad-hoc basis, the unit also manages medical intensive care patients who have been admitted to the unit.

To complement our provision of specialised critical care, the SICU team places an emphasis on continued education and research. In the education aspect, we are the centre for SICM (Society of Intensive Care Medicine) training for postgraduate doctors, and we are heavily involved in the training of critical care Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs). Appreciating that research helps improve and update our care models, our SICU team is actively involved in various research and quality improvement projects that aim to improve patient care and clinical outcomes.

Our dedicated team provides patient-centric care for our critically-ill patients in a dignified manner and endeavours to provide support to patients' families during this period of stress and tension. 

Pain Management Unit

Pain is a significant problem for our patients. When pain occurs after a surgery or trauma, or during an acute medical condition, it interferes with recovery and rehabilitation.

When the pain persists long after the acute medical or surgical condition has resolved, it interferes with the way we think or feel, gets in the way of everyday activities at home and at work, and affects the relationships with family and friends. It chips away at the enjoyment and quality of life, and can eventually spiral down to needless suffering and depression.

The Pain Management Unit of the Department of Anaesthesia comprises a team of doctors and nurses working in tandem with other interested and experienced allied health professionals to holistically manage the patients’ pain symptoms and alleviate suffering.

The Acute Pain Service of the Pain Management Unit manages acute pain associated with surgery, trauma and acute medical conditions such as mucositis and sickle cell crisis. Using a wide range of treatment modalities from patient controlled analgesia, epidurals to peripheral perineural infusions to manage pain in our patients, the service provides 24-7 care during the most critical periods of their recovery.

The Chronic Pain Service of the Pain Management Unit employs a comprehensive spectrum of treatment modalities, often in a coordinated simultaneous fashion, to a wide variety of persistent painful conditions ranging from non-malignant conditions arising from the spine, nerves or visceral organs, to recalcitrant cancer pain in both adult and paediatric patients.

Some of the modalities used regularly include:

  • Non-invasive techniques based on psychology, physical modalities and Traditional Chinese Medicine principles
  • Pharmacological agents
  • Interventional pain procedures ranging from simple blocks to more advanced modalities such as radiofrequency ablation

Our Pain Service is currently co-located with the 16a Anaesthesia, Pain Management and Acupuncture Clinic at the NUH Medical Centre, level 16.