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Obstetric Anesthesia Division

Over the years, the typical pregnant patient has changed from a healthy 22 year old to an older patient with complicated coexisting diseases. Our patient population has grown as well and we are quite a busy place. About 6 years ago, we moved to a beautiful new state-of-the-art Labor and Delivery Unit. L&D is a unique place in the hospital since we are a triage/emergency area, labor floor, OR and PACU all rolled into one. Here teamwork is essential and the anesthesia team plays an integral role in the day-to-day patient management and administration of the unit. We have been leaders in creating many of the policies on L&D, including Pitocin administration following vaginal delivery and c/section, Oral Intake Policy, VTE prophylaxis, management of PP hemorrhage and care of patients in the PACU to name a few.

Division Members

Ellen Steinberg, MD
Chief of Obstetric Anesthesia

  • Ellen S. Steinberg, MD is the Chief of the Division.
    ▸ Dr. Steinberg's bio.
  • Ramon Abola, MD directs the Anesthesia Patient Care Dashboard Research Project. He is an Associate Editor for BMC Anesthesiology.
  • Rishimani Adsumelli, MD is the Chief of Urological and Gynecological Anesthesia, but she is also a member of the Obstetrics Division. Her research interests include, maternal hemorrhage and preterm labor.
  • Ursula Landman, DO is co-Director of the Departmental Journal Club. She is a Fellow of the American Osteopathic College of Anesthesiologists and is the recipient of the 2015 NYIT-COM Distinguished Alumni Award.
  • Irina Lokshina, MD divides her time between OB Anesthesia and the Chronic Pain Division.
  • Tracie A. Saunders, MD brings passion for the well being of all of our mothers and babies to the group. Dr. Saunders was recently ordained as a minister; this allows her to offer a unique perspective on how we care for our patients.
  • Joy E. Schabel, MD is Vice-Chair for Education, Director of Medical Student Education and the Associate Residency Program Director. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award by the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology.
  • Several other anesthesia attendings take OB Anesthesia call.
Residency Training

We provide the gold standard for obstetric anesthesia care at Stony Brook with two attendings and two residents during the weekdays and a dedicated attending and resident on nights and weekends. We now have a second attending assigned during the weekdays to ensure that our elective cases get done in a timely fashion. This also allows us to have more time for resident education as we do not always need to have a resident in the OR doing cases. We make a big effort to nurture all of our residents and value their outside lives as well as their work lives. Personally, I take on the role of everybody’s mother, making sure everyone eats properly and gets enough rest and that they clean up after their mess. L&D provides a unique environment for our anesthesia residents to interact with patients and their families on a much larger scale than in the main OR. Here, almost all of our patients are awake and c/sections are the only surgical procedures where a significant other is allowed to come into the operating room and these “others” are sitting in our space and need to be watched carefully! Plus, sometimes, L&D can be quite the Soap Opera.

It is fair to say that our resident call room is one of the nicest in the hospital, complete with bedspread, a pet fish named MAC (Minimal Alveolar Concentration), a nice TV and DVD player (this was useful in the old days), weights and a resident painted blackboard wall. It has become a resident and attending hangout and it is quite common on any given day to have people wander in and out to eat their breakfast and lunch with us in their L&D home.

CA1 Residents are advised to make frequent reference to our OB Anesthesia Survival Guide.

Recent Division Activity

Dr. Abola presenting his research at our Academic Research Evening, 2018

Resident Dr. Minxi Weng, Attending Dr. Lixin Liu and Resident Dr. Richard Thalappillil at Dr. Wang's poster at the 2017 ASA meeting

Recent Publications
Resident authors denoted by bold type
  • Abola RE, Gan TJ. Preoperative Fasting Guidelines: Why Are We Not Following Them?: The Time to Act Is NOW. Anesth Analg. 2017 Apr;124(4):1041-1043.
  • Abola RE, Schabel J. The unusual use of epidural anesthesia for effective treatment of transfusion related circulatory overload in a parturient. Case Reports in Perinatal Medicine. 2017; 6(2):
  • Abola RE, Romeiser J, Grewal S, Rizwan S, Adsumelli R, Steinberg E, Bennett-Guerrero E. Association of postoperative nausea/vomiting and pain with breastfeeding success. Perioper Med (Lond). 2017 Nov 22;6:18.
  • Abola RE, Bennett-Guerrero E, Kent ML, et al.; Perioperative Quality Initiative (POQI) 2 Workgroup. American Society for Enhanced Recovery and Perioperative Quality Initiative Joint Consensus Statement on Patient-Reported Outcomes in an Enhanced Recovery Pathway. Anesth Analg. 2017 Dec 29.
  • Wischmeyer PE, Carli F, Evans DC, Guilbert S, Kozar R, Pryor A, Thiele RH, Everett S, Grocott M, Gan TJ, Shaw AD, Thacker JKM, Miller TE, Hedrick TL, McEvoy MD, Mythen G, Bergamaschi R, Gupta R, Holubar SD, Senagore AJ, Abola RE, Bennett-Guerrero E, Kent ML, Feldman LS, Fiore JF Jr; Perioperative Quality Initiative (POQI) 2 Workgroup. American Society for Enhanced Recovery and Perioperative Quality Initiative Joint Consensus Statement on Nutrition Screening and Therapy Within a Surgical Enhanced Recovery Pathway. Anesth Analg. 2018 Jan 23.
  • Abola RE, Gan TJ. Fluid Management in the Ambulatory, Gynecological and Obstetric Patient. In: Fluid Therapy in the Surgical Patient. Svensen C, Prough D, Feldman L and Gan TJ, editors. CRC Press 2018
Recent Presentations
  • Ni S, Hua B, Schabel J. Ephedrine-Induced Myoclonus in a Parturient. ASA 2017
  • Georges R, Schabel J, Wang M. Convulsive Syncope vs Eclampsia. ASA 2017
  • Brown A, Adrahtas D, Stanley S. Management dilemma in a Parturient with Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia. SOAP 2017
  • Georges R, Wang E, Schabel J. Synconvulsion in a Preeclamptic Patient. PGA 2017
  • Josma J, Wang E, Schabel J, Shah S. Untreated Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome Management during Cesarean Section. PGA 2017
  • Ni S, Hua B, Schabel J. Myoclonus after Ephedrine Administration. PGA 2017
  • Khalili M, Adsumelli R, Azim S. Coronary Vasospasm: Implications for Treatment of Cardiac Arrest during Anesthesia. PGA 2017
  • Weng M, Gonzalez A, Brown A, Steinberg E, Kogan A, Costa A. Anesthetic Management of an Obstetric Patient With Placenta Percreta. PGA 2017
  • Abola RE, Romeiser J, Rizwa S, Gupta R, Bennett-Guerrero E.
    Randomized Controlled Trial of Sugammadex versus Neostigmine for Reversal of Neuromuscular Blockade: Impact on Measures of Early Postoperative Strength. ASA 2018
  • Abola RE, Lian X, Zhang J, Adsumelli RS, Romeiser J, Blaber J, Griffin T, Gan TJ, Bennett-Guerrero E. Evaluation of an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Program for Minimally Invasive Gynecological Surgery. ASA 2018
  • Abola RE, Lian X, Zhang J, Adsumelli RS, Romeiser J, Blaber J, Griffin T, Gan TJ, Bennett-Guerrero E. Prospective Assessment of A Preoperative Carbohydrate Beverage as Part of an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Program for Gynecological Surgery. ASA 2018
  • Al-Bizri E, Landman UN. Anesthesia Management Of Parturient With Pseudotumor Cerebri And Lumboperitoneal Shunt For Cesarean Section Utilizing Combined Spinal Epidural Technique. ASA 2018
  • Lee MH, McInerney H, Saunders TA, Adsumelli RS. Symptomatic Intrathecal Hematoma Following An Uneventful Epidural Blood Patch For An Obstetric Patient With Post-dural Puncture Headache. ASA 2018
  • Vojdani R, Khalili M, Adsumelli RS, Azim SA. Coronary Vasospasm: Implications For Treatment Of Cardiac Arrest During Anesthesia. ASA 2018
  • Yau G, Azim SA, Steinberg ES. Atypical Postpartum Headache: PDPH Or Preeclampsia? ASA 2018

Dr. Steinberg's photo by Jeanne Neville