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What do cardiothoracic surgeons do?

Cardiothoracic surgeons operate on diseases that occur in the organs inside the chest and in the bony structures and tissues that form the chest cavity. Coronary artery disease is one of the most common diseases treated by cardiothoracic surgeons. General thoracic surgeons treat primarily lung cancer and diseases of the esophagus and chest wall. Congenital heart surgeons care for babies and children with holes between the heart chambers or abnormal connections within the heart.

This content originally appeared online in "The Patient Guide to Heart, Lung, and Esophageal Surgery" from the Society of Thoracic Surgery.

Cardiothoracic surgeons perform operations throughout the chests, such as heart, lungs and esophagus.

A cardiothoracic surgeon specializes in the treatment of everything in the chest.

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