Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
Have a look at frequently asked questions & answers to understand more.
Cardiologists are physicians who treat the heart and its diseases using diagnostics and medication. Unlike cardiac surgeons, they do not perform surgical procedures. They see patients with both routine and complex cases of heart disease and heart conditions.
Interventional cardiologists are trained in cardiology, and then continue on for additional training in interventional cardiology. This extra training allows them to perform minimally invasive procedures involving small incisions and catheters instead of traditional surgery. These procedures are used to diagnose and treat diseases such as heart valve disorders; coronary artery disease; congenital heart disease; endocarditis; peripheral artery disease.
Cardiothoracic surgeons are heart surgeons who perform surgery in the area of the heart and lungs. Cardiothoracic surgeons have extensive experience in complex, life-saving procedures and cardiac care, including advanced, specialized procedures such as robotic and video-assisted lung surgery, minimally invasive mitral valve repair and complex neonatal repairs.
Cardiovascular surgeons perform surgeries that include repair or replacement of heart valves; bypassing or widening of blocked arteries to the heart; repair of aneurysms; treatment of coronary artery disease; implanting of devices to regulate heart rhythm or support heart function and blood flow; and replacement of a damaged heart with a healthy heart from a donor.
If other treatments—such as lifestyle changes, medicines, and medical procedures—haven’t worked or can’t be used to treat your cardiac condition, heart surgery might be an option. Your Tenet primary care doctor, cardiologist, and the cardiothoracic surgeon will work with you to decide whether heart surgery is the best treatment option for you.
Though its results often are excellent, heart surgery does have some risks. Risks may include:
Infection, fever, swelling and other signs of inflammation
A reaction to anaesthesia
Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)
Damage to tissues in the heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs
Stroke, which may cause short-term or permanent damage
Death (More likely to occur in people who are very sick before the surgery)
In general, the risk of complications is higher if heart surgery is done in an emergency situation (for example, during a heart attack). The risk also is higher if you have other underlying diseases or conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, lung disease, or peripheral arterial disease.
Usually, cardiac surgery patients are referred by a general or family physician.