Very few people actually know what a thoracic surgeon does until they need one themselves. A thoracic surgeon is a doctor who specifically focuses on operations that have to do with the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs located in the chest (thoracic cavity). The term thoracic surgeon is a catchall that can also be used for a cardiovascular surgeon, a general thoracic surgeon, a heart surgeon, and a cardiothoracic surgeon.
A thoracic surgeon graduates from medical school and normally undergoes a general surgery residency for 5 years after school. After their residency, they will undergo another 2-3 year residency through an approved cardiothoracic surgery program. Some surgeons opt to have additional training after to specialize in certain areas, such as minimally invasive surgery, but this is not necessary.
How Does A Thoracic Surgeon Become Board Certified?
A thoracic surgeon is board certified through the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS) that sets the standards for thoracic surgeons in the United States. Board certification is based on completing approved residency training, holding a completed and unrestricted medical license, and remaining in good ethical standing. After these qualifications have been met, doctors have to pass both a written and an oral examination. The written examination tests for broad topics and general knowledge, while the oral examination tests for skills and knowledge in a clinical setting.
How You See A Thoracic Surgeon And Why
A primary care physician refers patients to a thoracic surgeon for specific problems affecting the organs within the chest (lungs, esophagus, heart, etc.). The reason why a patient will see a thoracic surgeon, as opposed to a cardiologist or pulmonologist, is because they specifically perform surgeries. Cardiologists and pulmonologists normally treat their patients’ problems with medication as opposed to surgery.
Book An Appointment With Los Angeles’s Premier Thoracic Surgeons
Ali Mahtabifard, MD, and Clark B. Fuller, MD, are two of the most experienced thoracic surgeons in Los Angeles. They specialize in a groundbreaking type of procedure called video-assisted thoracic surgery, or VATS, that allows for formerly invasive procedures to be completed with less invasive measures. Both doctors work out of the West Coast Associates for Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery, located in Beverly Hills. Dr. Mahtabifard and Dr. Fuller specialize in a number of areas, including lung cancer, malignant and benign esophageal diseases, hyperhidrosis/excessive sweating, thymoma, and myasthenia gravis. Contact our office at 310.854.0909 today to schedule your consultation.