Cardiothoracic surgery is a term used to describe procedures performed on organs inside the chest
(thorax). These organs include the heart, lungs, and major blood vessels inside the chest.
Cardiothoracic surgery is performed by a cardiothoracic surgeon, a specialist who covers two specialties
at once i.e. cardiac surgery and thoracic surgery (heart surgery and chest organs surgery respectively).
The Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit at King’s College Hospital London Dubai provides comprehensive
cardiothoracic critical care and recovery services, which includes diagnosing, treating and managing
conditions that affect the chest organs. The unit comes with state-of-the-art equipment, and is led by US
and European trained cardiothoracic surgeons with a wealth of experience in a long list of cardiothoracic
surgeries and procedures.
Cardiothoracic Surgeries and Procedures
Common cardiothoracic procedures performed at the Cardiothoracic Unit include:
The Cardiothoracic surgery (CTS) service includes the Guidelines highly-recommended Heart-Team
approach to patient care. During the Heart-Team discussions, professionals from both cardiology
(interventional and non-interventional) and cardiac surgery review, in details, all of the patient’s data and investigations before deciding on the best evidence-based treatment for that particular patient. This
approach enables the delivery of the best treatment with the least amount of risks to the patient.
A similar approach via the Tumour Board is used for lung and other thoracic cancer patients.
At KCHL, the cardiothoracic surgeons promote the use of the ERAS (Enhanced Recovery after Surgery)
program. Thus, our patients recover much quicker and return back to normal activities with the least
inconvenience. The program includes patient’s cardiothoracic education as well as input from our
dietician, pharmacy and physiotherapy teams.
MINIMAL ACCESS SURGERY: Both heart and thoracic procedures can be performed using the minimal access route. For thoracic procedures, this is often referred to as VATS (Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery).
Open-heart surgery: This is a procedure that treats a myriad of problems affecting the heart including heart valve problems, heart rhythms and heart defects problems.
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG): Pronounced as ‘cabbage’, this is a common
heart surgical procedure whereby an artery harvested from the arm or chest wall, or a
vein from the leg, is used to bypass a blocked or narrowed coronary artery.
Heart Valve Surgery: This is an open-heart surgical procedure whereby a damaged heart valve (which may strain the heart) is either repaired or replaced with a new one in order to restore its normal functions.
Implant of Ventricular Assist Devices: This is a procedure that implants a ventricular assist device (heart pump) in order to treat heart failure.
Heart Ablation: This procedure targets a very small part of the heart muscle and either heats or freezes it, as a way of treating arrhythmias or abnormal heart rates.
Lobectomy: This a open procedure of the chest that removes a large section of the lung including the
nodules in order to treat lung cancer.
Pleurectomy: This is a procedure used for the removal of the chest cavity’s inner lining.
Pneumonectomy: This procedure removes the entire lung and lymph nodes in order to treat lung cancer.
Wedge Resection: This is a surgical procedure that is used to diagnose or treat lung nodules. The procedure is also used to remove tissue portions that are wedge-shaped from the lungs.
Thoracentfsis: The procedure is used to drain pleural effusions (excess fluid that builds up between the outside layer of the lungs and the inside chest cavity). The drained fluid may be analyzed to
find out the underlying cause of the pleural effusions.
OTHER THORACIC PROCEDURES
• Video assisted thoracoscopy (Key-hole surgery).
• Pneumothorax surgery
Conditions Treated by a Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Some of the conditions treated by a cardiothoracic surgeon include:
- Heart conditions
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart valve disease
- Heart arrhythmia
- Heart attack
- Heart defects (congenital or otherwise)
- Coronary artery disease
- Ventricular aneurism
- Heart valve infections (Endocarditis)
- Lung conditions
- Lung cancer
- Air leak
- Congestive Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH)
- Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
- Thoracic aortic aneurysms
- Thoracic trauma
- Tracheobronchial cancer
- Tracheal stenosis
- Aortic dissections
Consultation with a Cardiothoracic Surgeon – What Happens
During your consultation with the Thoracic Surgeon, he/she will review your medical history and go over the symptoms you may be experiencing. You can also expect:
- To undergo a physical exam
- Tests including echocardiogram, chest x-ray, or EKG
- The risks presented by your condition
- Recommended treatment options for your condition including how to prepare, risks involved, duration as well as downtime
- A detailed explanation of what happens during recovery after treatment
Each patient who requires an intervention is discussed at the Heart-Team or Tumour Board meeting as
appropriate. This provides the patient with several professional opinions in one setting. As a result, the
best evidenced-based treatment is provided to the patient.
Patients are also informed and educated using the ERAS program promoting swifter and better recovery
after their procedure.
Dr. Mehmood (Consultant Interventional Cardiologist), Dr. Omar Hallak (Consultant Interventional Cardiologist), Dr. Jose Carlos Moreno Samos (Consultant Interventional Cardiologist), Dr. Layla Al Marzooqi (Specialist Cardiologist & Aeromedical Examiner) and Dr. Ali K Moussavi (Specialist Cardiologist) are considered the best Cardiologists in Dubai.
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