A cardiothoracic surgeon is a specialist who operates on the heart, lungs and other thoracic (chest) organs. As well as performing surgery, they also diagnose and treat diseases of these organs.
Cardiothoracic surgery is one of the most challenging and demanding areas of surgery. It's also highly competitive with a relatively small number of jobs. The work is extremely rewarding, since diseases of the chest are a major cause of ill-health and death throughout the world.
As a cardiothoracic surgeon you will see the immediate and often life-changing results of your work. Since the end of the Second World War cardiothoracic surgery has seen rapid growth, coupled with fast-paced technological changes. The specialty is relatively young and is still evolving.
The main areas of cardiothoracic surgery are:
1. adult cardiac surgery
2. general thoracic surgery
3. congenital cardiac surgery
4. heart and lung transplant surgery