What is a thoracic surgeon?

A thoracic surgeon is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the chest. That treatment may include performing operations on the heart, lungs, esophagus and other organs within the chest. The conditions that a thoracic surgeon treat may include:
  • coronary artery disease
  • cancer of the lungs, esophagus or chest wall
  • heart and blood vessel abnormalities
  • diseases of the diaphragm
  • abnormalities of the heart that are present at birth
  • injuries to the structures in the chest
  • problems in the airways
Thoracic surgeons typically complete a five-year surgical residency after graduating from medical school. They may then spend two or three years in a cardiothoracic residency program. Thoracic surgeons can then become board-certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery by sitting for both written and oral examinations.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.