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Obstetric & Women’s Anesthesiology

"Logo for the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology Center of Excellence"


"A group photo of the Obstetric and Women's Anesthesiology research team, some in person, some over the Zoom application"
Our Obstetric & Women’s Anesthesiology research team, 2022

Grace Lim, MD, MS
Chief, Division of Obstetric & Women's Anesthesiology

Welcome to The Division of Obstetric (OB) & Women’s Anesthesiology! We provide comprehensive anesthetic and perioperative services to the region’s highest- and lowest-risk pregnancies. Our division strives to be a world leader in improving women’s and maternal health through advancing acute care medicine and science with a mission to: 1) provide safe, patient-centered, and cutting-edge clinical care by leveraging a multidisciplinary team approach; 2) educate the next generation of clinicians and leaders; and 3) advance new knowledge, discoveries, and innovation in OB and women’s anesthesiology. UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital (MWH) is a tertiary referral center that serves a diverse perinatal population from a wide geographic distribution, primarily spanning Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Western Maryland, and West Virginia. MWH is ranked one of the nation's top hospitals specializing in gynecology. The UPMC Women’s Health Service Line encompasses 15 hospitals in the UPMC network over the same five states, covering both urban and rural populations in a wide range of socioeconomic strata.

Clinical Service

Peripartum Care   
Clinical management of routine and medically complex OB patients is the foundation of the division’s work. UPMC MWH functions as the main “hub” for clinical care and is a designated Center of Excellence for Obstetric Anesthesia Care by the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP). Other UPMC maternity hospitals are in the process of consideration for this prestigious designation. Consistently over 15,000 deliveries occur at UPMC hospitals, with over 50% occurring at MWH. In addition to managing labor analgesia and surgical anesthesia for deliveries, the division provides services for in- and ex-utero fetal surgeries, non-OB surgery during pregnancy, immediate post-vaginal delivery postpartum tubal ligations, peripartum management of postpartum hemorrhage, scheduled and unscheduled cesarean-hysterectomies for morbidly adherent placentation (placenta accreta), and external cephalic versions. Fetal surgeries encompass percutaneous umbilical blood sampling, fetoscopic laser photocoagulation, radiofrequency ablation of twin reversed arterial perfusion (TRAP) sequence, fetal shunt procedures with radiographic guidance, and ex utero intrapartum procedures (EXIT).

Clinical Innovation
We are invested in developing new models of clinical care and advancing clinical practice to meet the needs of the 21st century woman. We are developing new ways to provide care in rural Pennsylvania through specialized training programs to meet the challenges of providing high-quality clinical care in under-resourced local environments.

Other services

  • Complex Interhospital Obstetric Perioperative Management
  • Perinatal Health Optimization
  • Quality, Safety, and Maternal Mortality

Education & Teaching

UPMC Magee proudly educates learners from diverse backgrounds in advanced OB anesthesia clinical practice, serving as the primary OB anesthesia clinical site for student nurse anesthetists, dental anesthesia residents, anesthesiology residents, and OB anesthesiology fellows. Our innovative education methodologies include “flipped classroom” approaches using digital lecture platforms, simulation, design thinking, and problem-based learning.

Research & Innovation

The division has a tradition of active research on important OB anesthesia topics. Division faculty and OB fellows represent at national and international meetings of academic societies such as SOAP, the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS), and the Association of University Anesthesiologists. Our funded projects are listed below:

Project Title Award Institution Total Funding Funding Period
Reducing Pain's Impact on Perinatal Depression CTSI Pain Research Challenge/Virginia Kaufman Award $50,000 2016 – 2017
Ketamine to Reduce the Burden of Postpartum: Lactation Pharmacokinetic Trial (KINETIC) CTSI Pain Research Challenge/Virginia Kaufman Award $75,000 2018 – 2021
Genetic Variation of Labor Pain and Postpartum Depression UPitt – UGC Precision Medicine Pilot Grants $50,000 2018 – 2020
Omics Center of Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures (PNNL, Pacific Northwest Laboratories) NIH/NINDS $69,091 2019 – 2020
HEAL U24 Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network – Specialized Clinical Centers NIH/NINDS $1,254,417 2019 – 2024
BRIDGE Device: Alternative Postpartum Analgesia CTSI Research Initiative for Special Populations (CRISP) $30,000 2020 – 2021
Acute to Chronic Pain Transition in Women After Mastectomy: Establishing Biosignatures for Pain Resilience and Susceptibility NIH/T32 $80,000 2021 – 2022
Avoiding Adverse Opioid Outcomes with Proactive Precision Care NIH/NIDA $319,447 2021 – 2022
  TOTAL $1,927,955