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About Cardiothoracic Surgeons

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Cardiothoracic Surgeons perform both surgical and non-invasive operations to treat conditions involving the heart, lungs, esophagus and organs inside the chest as well as the tissue, muscle and bone that comprise the chest cavity. Expertise in both cardiac surgery and thoracic surgery are essential to the care and treatment of illness diagnosed in this area of the body and the use of surgery to prevent further illness and restore function to these vital organs and their surrounding structures.

Patients are referred to Cardiothoracic surgeons by a number of other specialists including a Family Doctor/General Physician, Cardiologist, Pulmonologist, or Gastroenterologist, if it is recommended that surgery must be done involving the heart, lungs, esophagus or chest.  They review images and tests such as echocardiograms, X-rays or CT scans as well as patients’ medical history and decide the best course of action for treatment and the use of surgery for the prevention and repair of the effects of heart disease.

Some of the commonly treated conditions that Cardiothoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons specialize in include coronary artery disease, arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms,) heart failure, angina, Mesothelioma (tumors occurring in the protective lining of the heart and lungs.)

Surgical procedures carried out by a Cardiothoracic Surgeon include heart valve repair or replacement, implantation of a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD,) heart transplant, open-heart surgery, off-pump heart surgery, angioplasty and vein and artery grafts. Thoracic surgeons are also trained in performing bronchoscopy or esophagoscopy.

Cardiothoracic surgeons encompass specialties including cardiovascular surgeons, pediatric cardiac surgeons, general thoracic surgeons and congenital heart surgeons.

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