1. Schouchoff, Barbara RN, MHSA, CNA
  2. Nauer, Kathleen A. RN, BSN

Article Content

Technological evolution in conventional surgery has changed the practice of surgery and increased the armamentarium for surgeons. This evolving technological philosophy and intervention has required nursing to modify and adapt nursing practices and patient care interventions to provide safe and appropriate nursing care. The intent of this issue of Critical Care Nursing Quarterly is to discuss the technological advancements in cardiovascular surgery as they relate to abdominal aortic repair, aortic valve replacement, saphenous vein harvesting, coronary artery bypass grafting, pacemakers, aortic dissection, radial artery harvesting, left ventricular assist devices to heart transplant, and hypothermia. Each article reviews principles, techniques, potential problems, morbidity and mortality complications, suggestions for avoiding or managing complications, patient satisfaction, and nursing interventions.


The continual advancement and refinement of technology has challenged traditional surgical principles and techniques with less invasive procedures, presenting both patients and physicians with choices and widespread appeal and acceptance. The benefits experienced by patients include decreased analgesic requirements, shortened hospitalizations, decreased tissue trauma, smaller incisions, improved cosmetic results, decreased blood loss, and a quicker return to their preoperative quality of life status. However, the introduction of endoscopic or minimally invasive surgery has not been without its incidence of complications or potential problems. As the effort to improve clinical outcomes while diminishing the trauma of surgery and increasing patient satisfaction continue, health care professionals need to become technically proficient and educationally prepared as patient care and interventions become more sophisticated.


We extend our thanks to our colleagues who contributed to this journal, Victoria Butler, RN, MSN, CNOR, and the operating room personnel for their patience, understanding, and support. We would also like to thank Elise Cohen, RN, MPM, for manuscript preparation, Carmen Germaine Warner, MSN, RN, FAAN, and Judith DePalma, MSN, RN, for their mentorship, and Douglas Whitman for the photography. A special acknowledgment to Dr Landreneau for his dedication, time, and encouragement in assisting the cardiothoracic team in making this journal a reality.