A cardiothoracic surgeon is a surgeon who specialises in operations involving the chest. This includes open operations of the heart and lungs.

Medical Conditions

  • Ischaemic heart disease – narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the heart with blood and oxygen – may cause angina, heart attack, heart failure and ultimately death.
  • Valvular heart disease – the heart valves may become diseased and require replacement.
  • Lung cancer
  • Trauma
  • Pneumothorax
  • Emphysema / CAL
  • Aortic dissection

Specialty Areas of Interest

  • Thoracic surgery
  • Cardiac surgery

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Associated Tests


  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
  • Valve replacement
  • Lobectomy
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Pleuradhesis
  • Lung volume reduction surgery

What to expect


Your cardiothoracic surgeon will ask about your current symptoms, previous and current therapy and state of fitness.


Your cardiothoracic surgeon will examine your heart and chest in association with reviewing other imaging investigations.

Training and Qualifications

Entry into cardiothoracic training is usually very competitive. Once selected 5 years of specialty training follows. Trainees work and operate under the supervision of a consultant / specialist cardiothoracic surgeon. Registrars must sit examinations, perform many supervised operations and conduct research before eventually reaching specialty level.



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This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.

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