Cardiothoracic Surgery Background
Cardiothoracic surgery is a particular specialization of surgery which focuses on surgery in the cardiac and thoracic areas of the body. The cardiac system of the body primarily includes the heart, while the thorax of the body primarily contains the lungs, although other organs, such as the diaphragm, are also covered under thoracic surgery. A particular surgery will not be cardiothoracic, as it will likely be either cardiac or thoracic surgery. Instead, cardiothoracic surgery is used to refer to the specialization held by some surgeons. Those surgeons who specialize in cardiothoracic surgery will be trained in both cardiac and thoracic surgery.
A cardiothoracic surgeon is a surgeon who has chosen to specialize in cardiothoracic surgery, so that he or she might be able to perform surgery on the cardiac system, or on the organs within the thorax. Again, cardiothoracic surgery primarily refers to surgery on the heart or the lungs. In other countries in the world, a surgeon would have to become either a cardiac surgeon or a thoracic surgeon, instead of becoming an all-around cardiothoracic surgeon. The path for prospective cardiothoracic surgeons to actually obtain that specialty is very long and difficult, involving many years of study in medical school, followed by a general surgical residency and then further study for the specialization.
The Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery
The Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery is a publication containing articles written by and for the cardiothoracic surgeon community. The articles in the Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery are peer reviewed, and can range from specific case reports, documenting important concerns about a particular case, to commentaries about the state of the cardiothoracic surgeon profession. The Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery is not designed for the lay person, and is instead designed for the cardiothoracic surgeon community.