Cardiothoracic surgery is the field of medicine involved in surgical treatment of diseases affecting organs inside the thorax (the chest). Generally treatment of conditions of the heart (heart disease) and lungs (lung disease).
Cardiac surgery and thoracic surgery are separate surgical specialties, but are frequently grouped together as cardiothoracic surgery (primarily in the United States). Cardiac surgery generally refers to surgery of the heart and great vessels, and thoracic surgery generally 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.
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