Answers to Common Cardiothoracic Surgery Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about cardiothoracic surgery.

What is cardiothoracic surgery?

Premier Health’s Dr. Jose Rodriguez defines cardiothoracic surgery. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.


Cardiothoracic surgery is a type of specialty surgery that involves procedures on the organs in the chest cavity (thorax)—heart, lungs, esophagus. According to the Society of Thoracic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (STS), the term “cardiothoracic surgeons” is an inclusive term that also includes:

  • General thoracic surgeons
  • Cardiovascular surgeons
  • Congenital heart surgeons

As Dr. Rodriguez points out, however, the terms “cardiac surgeon” and “thoracic surgeon” are used interchangeably.

Cardiothoracic surgery may be used to treat a number of health conditions, such as:

  • Coronary artery disease (artery blockages)
  • Lung cancer
  • Emphysema
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Swallowing disorders

Cardiothoracic surgery involves a variety of procedures, including open-chest operations, laparoscopic procedures and robotically-assisted surgeries.

Talk to your doctor to learn more about cardiothoracic surgery.

Learn more:

Source: Jose Rodriguez, MD, FACS, Cardiothoracic Surgery Associates

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