Cardiothoracic surgery is the field of medicine involved in the surgical treatment of organs inside the thorax (chest). This may include treatment of conditions in the heart, lungs and esophagus. All of the surgeons at East Tennessee Cardiovascular Surgery Group specialize in cardiac, thoracic and esophageal surgery.
Cardiac surgery and thoracic surgery are separate surgical specialties but are frequently grouped together as cardiothoracic surgery. Cardiac surgery generally refers to surgery of the heart, valves and great vessels, while thoracic surgery refers to surgery of the chest other than the heart. A cardiothoracic surgeon will perform surgery within the realm of both cardiac and thoracic surgery.
Minimally invasive surgery refers to newer procedures that make use of endoscopy, video equipment and robotics in an effort to lessen the physical impact on the body. Minimally invasive surgery typically will lead to a faster recovery time.
Additionally, there are many new surgical treatments and procedures in the fields of cardiovascular surgery and thoracic surgery. These innovations in technology often allow for new, minimally invasive procedures, faster recovery times, a better long-term prognosis, and overall improved patient comfort. Endovascular surgery is a new and emerging form of minimally invasive surgery.
Cutting-edge procedures include the Ross Procedure, Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization (TMR/TMLR), Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (OPCAB), Endoscopic Vein Harvesting (EVH), and Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) among others.