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What is Cardio-Thoracic Surgery?

Cardiothoracic Surgery is a field of medical science that is implemented for the treatment of various diseases that affect the organs lying in close proximity to the thorax (the chest). This is usually implemented for the treatment of heart and lungs; which is referred to as cardiac surgery (involving the heart and great vessels) and thoracic surgery (involving lungs and other thoracic organs). However, it should be kept in mind that these are two different specialties in the surgical arena.


Surgical operation for the heart or great vessels is termed as cardiac surgery. It is performed by a cardiac surgeon or a team of cardiac surgeons. Usually, it is done to treat ischemic heart disease (like coronary artery bypass grafting), correct congenital heart disease and treat valvular heart disease.

Open Heart Surgery

As the name suggests, in this process, the patient’s chest is opened and the surgery of heart is performed. The term “OPEN” here is coined for the chest and not the heart. The size of opening in the chest depends on the nature of surgery to be performed.

Modern Beating-Heart Surgery

This method was introduced back in the 1990s when surgeons began performing “off-pump bypass surgery” i.e., coronary artery bypass surgery without cardiopulmonary bypass. Here, the heart keeps beating during the operation but is stabilized to some extent in order to maintain an immobile work area.

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Coronary Arterial Bypass GRAFT (CABG) Surgery: Conventional vs. Beating Heart

Coronary artery bypass grafting surgery is an ideal option for patients with coronary heart disease. It gives optimal results by restoring adequate blood flow and usual delivery of oxygen & nutrients to the heart. Bypass surgery reroutes the blood flow around the blockage in coronary artery by creating an alternative pathway for blood. This enables blood for delivering necessary nutrients and oxygen to the heart muscle. There are two types of bypass surgery i.e., conventional (arrested heart) and beating heart.

Contact Shalby Hospitals for Open Heart Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Bypass Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Cardiac Surgeon, and Vascular Disease in India.

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