Your heart and lungs need expert care

Cardiothoracic surgeons specialize in treating many conditions that affect the organs in your chest, including your heart, lungs, esophagus and diaphragm. Cardiothoracic surgery may be the solution you need if you have a complex condition affecting any of these organs, or the blood vessels around them.

Some cardiothoracic surgeons further specialize in particular areas. Depending on your diagnosis, you might see a:

  • Cardiac surgeon, who focuses on adult heart diseases.
  • Congenital heart surgeon, who treats heart defects that occur before birth.
  • Thoracic surgeon, who specializes in lung, pulmonary and esophageal diseases.

You will have access to a team of surgeons throughout North and Central Texas. They’ll choose the right procedure for you, keeping your well-being and long-term health in mind.

Conditions we treat using cardiothoracic surgery

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Cardiothoracic surgeons can treat many medical conditions affecting the heart and lungs, along with other organs of the chest.

Heart conditions

Esophageal conditions

Pulmonary and lung diseases

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Emphysema
  • Lung cancer
  • Lung failure
  • Lung nodules
  • Mediastinal conditions, such as tumors and cysts
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Mesothelioma
  • Pancoast tumor (superior sulcus)
  • Tracheal cancer
  • Tracheal stenosis
  • Chest wall cancers
  • Pectus deformities
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome

Cardiothoracic surgery options

Cardiothoracic surgery comes in many forms. The type you need will depend on your diagnosis and the severity of your disease.

At Baylor Scott & White, you have access to a variety of procedures, including:

How cardiothoracic surgery benefits you

Your cardiologist or pulmonologist may recommend surgical treatment when other options, such as lifestyle changes, medications and noninvasive procedures, are no longer successful. Any surgery aims to help you live the most fulfilling life possible by improving your condition or managing its side effects.

You may have the option of a minimally invasive or robotic surgical procedure. These surgeries use smaller incisions than traditional open procedures and, as a result, often lead to:

  • Faster recovery
  • Less time in the hospital
  • Less pain after surgery

What to expect before and after cardiothoracic surgery

From the moment you schedule your surgery to the days, weeks and months afterward, you’ll have support from a team of dedicated providers who want to ensure your surgery is as successful as possible.

In addition to your cardiothoracic surgeon, your surgical team may include:

  • Anesthesiologists, who monitor you during and after surgery
  • Nurse navigators, to help you prepare for your surgery and access the services you need
  • Physician assistants, nurses and nurse practitioners
  • Radiologists, who may need to perform presurgical imaging tests
  • Social workers, who can help arrange support services before surgery and as you recover
  • Your referring provider (a cardiologist or pulmonologist)

During your recovery in the hospital, your doctors and nurses will monitor you closely for complications and ensure your safety and comfort.

When you schedule your procedure, you’ll receive instructions for what to do after surgery and information to help you prepare your home for recovery. When you leave the hospital, you will have a good sense of what the days and weeks to come will look like.

Your recovery plan may include cardiac rehabilitation, a medically supervised program designed to help you recover from your procedure and adopt a healthy lifestyle to protect your heart for the long term. If you had a lung procedure, pulmonary rehabilitation will do the same for your lungs.