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American Board of Thoracic Surgery

633 North St. Clair Street, Suite 2320
Chicago, IL 60611

(312) 202-5900
Thoracic Surgery
Thoracic Surgeons work in the chest, surgeries of the esophagus, trachea, lungs, diaphragm, and heart, cardiac surgeons, heart and lung transplants, and more

Thoracic surgery encompasses the operative, perioperative, and surgical critical care of patients who 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 certification: Six to eight years


Certification in the following subspecialty requires additional training and assessment as specified by the board.

Congenital Cardiac Surgery

Congenital Cardiac Surgery refers to the procedures that are performed to repair the many types of heart defects that may be present at birth and can occasionally go undiagnosed into adulthood. These may include patching holes between chambers of the heart, improving blood flow to the lungs, or heart and lung transplantation.

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