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What is a cardio thoracic surgeon?


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Dr. Frank’s Answer

Cardiothoracic surgery. A cardiothoracic surgeon is a specialist who operates on the heart, lungs and other thoracic (chest) organs. As well as performing surgery, they also diagnose and treat diseases of these organs.

On the other hand, Cardiologists work with surgeons to manage patients and determine whether the patient needs surgery. They might also work together to treat irregular heart beat problems. Before surgery, the cardiologist will perform a full evaluation.


Cardiac surgeons must complete four years of college, four years of medical school, a 5-year general surgery residency and a 2-3 year specialized cardio or cardiothoracic fellowship. Surgeons who wish to specialize further in pediatric cardiology or heart transplant surgeries may require additional training.

A few common cardiothoracic surgeries and procedures include:
Angioplasty. ...
Stent placement. ...
Ablation. ...
Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). ...
Open heart surgery. ...
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). ...
Heart valve repair or replacement. ...
Ventricular assist devices.

A cardiovascular surgeon's salary outstrips even the typical surgeon's wage. In 2018, the median annual salary for cardiothoracic surgeons was $353,627, which is much higher than the $208,000 median for all surgeons. The median is the midpoint salary in a range from the highest to the lowest annual wage.

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Rachel’s Answer

Cardiothoracic surgeons operate on the heart, lungs, chest cavity, and blood vessels. One way to become a CT surgeon is to complete a 5 year general surgery residency followed by a 2 year CT fellowship.

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Richard’s Answer

Thoracic surgery is the surgical sub-specialty that deals with diseases of the chest. They operate on the lungs, for example removing cancers of the lung and pleura. They also operate on the heart, performing coronary artery bypass and cardiac valve replacement.

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