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Arun Hospital

Cardiothoracic Surgery

A thoracic surgeon is a medical doctor who performs operations on the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest. This also includes surgeons who can be called cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, general thoracic surgeons, and congenital heart surgeons.

Are there different kinds of Thoracic Surgeons?  What is the difference between a Thoracic and Cardiothoracic Surgeon?
All thoracic surgeons have the same general training and are certified by the same specialty board, except for congenital heart surgeons who have a sub-specialty certificate in addition to the ABTS certification.

Some surgeons choose to focus their clinical practice in certain areas of thoracic surgery and can be referred to differently. A cardiac or cardiovascular surgeon will focus on the heart and great vessels

. General thoracic surgeons treat diseases of the lungs, esophagus, chest wall, and mediastinum. Congenital heart surgeons operate on infants and children with heart disease.

 Cardiothoracic surgeon is the most inclusive term used to describe the specialty, irrespective of a particular surgeon’s area of focus and expertise, and can be used interchangeably with the term thoracic surgeon.

A cardiac or cardiovascular surgeon could treat:
- Coronary artery disease or blockages of the arteries in the heart
- Blockages in one of the heart valve(s)
- Leaking heart valve(s)
- Abnormal enlargement or aneurysms of the large arteries in the chest
- Heart failure
- Atrial fibrillation

A general thoracic surgeon could treat:
- Lung cancer
- Severe emphysema
- Cancer of the esophagus
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Hiatal hernias
- Swallowing disorders such as achalasia
- Excess sweating, usually of the upper extremity called hyperhydrosis