Sometimes, heart ailments need more than medication or a lifestyle change. Sometimes conditions require a catheterization, and sometimes surgery might be the best or only option. If that’s the case, a patient will require the expertise of a cardiothoracic surgeon.
These medical experts specialize in surgical procedures of the heart, esophagus, lungs and other organs in the chest. They perform procedures including, but not limited to:
- Valve repair surgery
- Heart valve replacement, including after congestive heart failure
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
- Arrhythmia surgery
- Beating heart surgery
Some cardiothoracic surgeons undergo sub-specialization to be able to provide surgical care to treat infants and children with heart diseases that have been present from birth.
When a patient is referred to a cardiothoracic surgeon, it means he or she will receive another level of specialized or sub-specialized care from a highly-trained medical expert. Heart patients can expect their cardiothoracic surgeon to work closely with their primary care physician and cardiologist to ensure the best care possible.