Cardiothoracic surgery

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In medicine, the field of cardiothoracic surgery is involved in the surgical treatment of diseases that affect organs inside the thorax (the chest). In general it will mean conditions of the heart (cardiovascular disease) and lungs (lung disease). Cardiothoracic surgery is a recognised surgical specialty.

Thoracic surgery generally refers to surgery of the chest other than the heart. A general surgeon may have an interest in thoracic surgery.

A cardiothoracic surgeon will perform Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG), Heart valve, lung volume reduction, heart and/or lung transplantation, as well as arrhythmia surgery and thoracic aorta repairs.

History

Animal experimentation by various pioneers, including Vladimir Demikhov and Dominique Metras, in 1940s and 1950s demonstrated that the procedure is feasible technically. Hardy performed the first human lung transplantation in 1963. Following a left lung transplantation, the patient survived for 18 days. From 1963-1978, multiple attempts at lung transplantation failed because of rejection and problems with anastomotic bronchial healing.

The first successful human-to-human heart transplantation was performed in South Africa by Dr. Barnard on December 3, 1967. Since 1905 the procedure was investigated by transplanting a puppy's heart into the neck of a dog. This intervention is generally reserved for patients with end-stage congestive heart failure (CHF) with a prognosis of less than a year to live without the transplant and who are not candidates for conventional medical therapy or have not been helped by conventional medical therapy.

Procedures

See also

References

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