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Common Terms Related to Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery
Thoracic doctors specialize in the treatment of diseases within the chest. They work closely with general practitioners, emergency room staff, orthopedic surgeons, and other specialists to accommodate the needs of the patient. Meeting with a thoracic doctor can be intimidating for many people, however, knowing some common terms related to thoracic and cardiac surgery can help you be prepared.
Cardiothoracic Surgeon - These thoracc doctors perform surgery or other treatments on the esophagus, lungs, heart, or other organs in the chest. They also do orthopedic work on the bony structures within the chest.
Cardiovascular Surgeon - Also called a cardiac surgeon. A doctor who specializes in work with the heart and major blood vessels. Problems and disorders such as coronary heart disease, or a leaky heart valve may be treated by a cardiovascular surgeon.
Congenital Heart Surgeon - A doctor who specializes in treating children with heart problems and diseases. Birth defects affecting the heart, such as transposition of an artery, can be treated by a congenital heart surgeon.
Percutaneous Intervention - A treatment that punctures through the groin. This may be an alternative to surgery which opens the chest cavity.
Arrhythmia - A problem or disorder related to the heartbeat. The beat may be too fast, too slow, or an irregular rhythm. A doctor can evaluate whether an arrhythmic heart beat is a health risk or not.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease - Also called GERD, this is a disease in which acid from the stomach frequently enters into the esophagus. While occasional acid reflux is normal, GERD is characterized by frequent occurrences, and the subsequent problems.
Thoracic and cardiac surgery treat diseases in the heart and thorax, which includes the chest, artery, lungs, esophagus, and diaphragm, and should only be conducted by qualified surgeons with experience in invasive surgery, organ removal, and robot-assisted surgeries. You can find many thoracic and cardiac surgeons listed in your online directory and on the Internet. Some people find that it is difficult for them to choose a hospital or surgeon because there are so many options available in their area. By following these guidelines, though, you should be able to find someone that you are comfortable with. When you first contact them, it is important to determine how much experience they have by asking them how long they have been doctors. Surgeons with several years of experience should know more about open and closed heart surgery, congenital diseases, coronary medical procedures, valves, atriums, bypass failure, and recovery. Make sure the doctors that perform the surgery graduated from good medical schools, have lots of experience, and are in good standing with a professional organization. These precautions can help you determine if the surgeon is legitimate and reliable. Ask them to meet with you so that you can discuss your heart, coronary, or thorax disease. You will also want to discuss your treatment options to make sure that surgery is right for you. You will want to find a hospital or doctor that accepts your insurance so that you can keep the surgery affordable so that you can recover slowly without worry.