Cardiac surgery, or cardiovascular surgery, is surgery on the heart or great vessels performed by cardiac surgeons. It is often used to treat complications of ischemic heart disease (for example, with coronary artery bypass grafting); to correct congenital heart disease; or to treat valvular heart disease from various causes, including endocarditis, rheumatic heart disease, and atherosclerosis. It also includes heart transplantation.
Cardiothoracic Surgery is one of the most interesting and rewarding careers in the medical field. It was stated in Saving the Heart by Stephen Klaidman, “In the 1950s surgeons found ways to do quick repairs of congenital heart defects and faulty valves, and then the first heart-lung machine was invented, which made longer operations possible.” Since then, Cardiothoracic surgery has been constantly evolving to incorporate the new technological innovations. This job is described as engaging, challenging, interesting, and life changing. Day by day, the surgeries are getting easier to perform and the recovery time for patients is improving. With 50% of the current cardiothoracic surgeons operating in the U.S. expected to retire within the next decade, there will be a huge demand for cardiothoracic surgeons. The work cardiothoracic surgeons do isn’t easy. They mainly focus on curing heart diseases and they can, with additional training, also operate on the lungs and the chest area.
Types of cardiac surgery:
- Open heart surgery
- Modern beating-heart surgery
- Heart transplant
- Coronary artery bypass grafting
- Minimally invasive surgery
- Post-surgical procedures