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Surgical Training

Overview and objectives of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Curriculum

Cardiothoracic Surgery is the speciality of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, evaluation and surgical management of diseases of the heart, lungs, oesophagus and chest. Cardiothoracic surgeons undertake surgical treatment of a wide range of serious conditions, and cardiothoracic operations tend to be major and often complex procedures. Many of these operations require support from advanced forms of technology, such as cardiopulmonary bypass, invasive monitoring and minimally invasive equipment. Because of the serious nature of the conditions and the scale of the operations, many cardiothoracic patients require care on the intensive therapy unit, and cardiothoracic surgeons are also proficient in this aspect of their patients' care.

Cardiothoracic surgeons generally work closely with their colleagues in Cardiology, Respiratory Medicine, Oncological Medicine, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. They also have close professional relationships with other non-medical staff such as perfusionists, intensive care staff and operating department personnel.

Whilst many cardiothoracic surgeons develop proficiency in the broad range of the specialty, some tend to focus and develop expertise in more complex areas of special interest. These include:

  • Cardiac surgery
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Surgery of the aorta
  • Transplantation and heart failure surgery
  • Congenital surgery in children
  • Congenital surgery in adults
  • Oesophageal surgery 

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