What do cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons do?
Cardiovascular surgeons perform numerous different treatments on the heart. This can include valve replacement, heart bypass surgery and fixing congenital heart defects. Some surgeons also perform heart transplants and insert pacemakers. Their work is not limited to the heart, however. Cardiovascular surgeons also work on arteries such as the carotid artery in the neck and treat lung and esophagus issues.
Thoracic surgery encompasses the operative, perioperative, and surgical critical care of patients with acquired and congenital pathologic conditions within the chest, according to the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. Included are the surgical repair of congenital and acquired conditions of the heart, including the pericardium, coronary arteries, valves, great vessels and myocardium.
In addition to operations and management of diseases of the thoracic and thoracoabdominal aorta, services also include the evaluation of vascular disease, the exposure, cannulation, reconstruction and treatment of the carotid, brachiocephalic, axillary, iliac and femoral vessels. These specialists also treat pathologic conditions of the lung, esophagus and chest wall, tumors of the mediastinum, and diseases of the diaphragm and pericardium. Management of the airway and injuries to the chest are also within the scope of the specialty.
Following is a list of some of the conditions this highly skilled group of health care professionals treat, and some of the procedures they perform.
- All adult cardiac pathology
- Limited pediatric abnormalities
- Aneurysms of the thoracic aorta
- Diseases involving the lungs, mediastinum, esophagus and chest wall
- Heart valve replacement and repair
- Bypass surgeries
- Surgical repair of complex chest and abdominal aneurysms
- Surgical treatment of heart rhythm disorders
- Advanced minimally invasive heart valve surgery for aortic valve, mitral valve, and thoracic aortic aneurysm