The ABMS Member Boards - Thoracic Surgery

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American Board of Thoracic Surgery
633 N. Saint Clair Street, Suite 2320
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 202-5900

Thoracic Surgery (Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery)
Thoracic Surgery encompasses the operative, perioperative, and surgical critical care of patients with acquired and congenital pathologic conditions within the chest. Thoracic Surgeons treat diseased or injured organs in the chest, including the esophagus (muscular tube that passes food to the stomach), trachea (windpipe), pleura (membranes that cover and protect the lung), mediastinum (area separating the left and right lungs that contains the heart), chest wall, diaphragm (separates the chest from the abdomen), pericardium (membrane covering the heart), heart (including the pericardium, coronary arteries, valves and myocardium) and lungs. The most common diseases requiring thoracic surgery include heart lesions, such as coronary artery disease and valve problems, lung cancer, chest trauma, esophageal cancer, emphysema, and heart and lung transplantation.

Specialty training required prior to Board Certification: Six to eight years

To become certified in the following subspecialty, a physician must be Board Certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and complete additional training as specified by the Member Board.

  • Congenital Cardiac Surgery
    Congenital heart surgery encompasses the diagnosis, care, and operative treatment of structural abnormalities involving the heart and major blood vessels. Although these defects are generally present at birth, they may also develop in infancy and childhood. Congenital heart surgeons care for patients from the fetus to the adult.

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Questions to ask your surgeon

What are the risks/benefits of this procedure?

How often have you performed the procedure? What is your success rate?

What will happen if I don’t have the procedure?

Are there alternatives?

How is the procedure performed?

What are the complications?

Do I need to donate blood? How do I do that?

How will the surgery improve my health or quality of life?

What are the specific risks that this procedure involves?

What should I expect during my recovery?

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