What is the difference between Cardiologist and Cardiothoracic Surgeon?

July 10, 2023


  • Cardiologists are cardiovascular disease specialists who are able to treat conditions that range from extreme hypertension and high cholesterol and issues with heart rhythm. They can also perform procedures that both assist in the diagnosis and treatment of several heart problems. Cardiologists may for example, administer stress tests to uncover cardiovascular disease, perform echocardiograms to identify heart holes or heart valve issues, and order heart monitoring to uncover rhythm problems such as atrial fibrillation. 
  • In addition, to treat these specific problems, specialist cardiologists may perform procedures. In clogged arteries, interventional cardiologists can insert stents, close small holes in the heart and place advanced devices in the heart. Other cardiologists may perform rhythm treatment procedures such as atrial fibrillation ablation procedures or pacemaker implants or defibrillators to treat more severe heart rhythm problems.
  • The task of a cardiologist is to diagnose and treat heart problems medically (without surgery).
  • Procedures such as cardiac catheterization, angioplasty (inserting balloons into arteries to clear them) and stenting to hold arteries open are also performed by cardiologists.
  • In order to treat patients, cardiologists consult with surgeons to decide if the patient needs surgery.
  • They can also work together to treat problems with irregular heart beats.
  • The cardiologist will conduct a full examination before surgery.
  • The cardiologist will monitor them over the long term while the patient is resting at home and after the surgeon has released the patient from his care.


A cardiothoracic surgeon treats people with diseases or injuries in their chest. They diagnose them and discuss treatment options, do the surgery and follow up with people after they’ve had surgery. Cardiothoracic surgeons can treat some of the most well-known organs in our body and some parts of the body we haven’t heard about.

Types of cardiothoracic surgeons

  • Cardiac surgeon.
  • Congenital heart surgeon.
  • Cardiovascular surgeon.
  • General thoracic surgeon.
  • Transplant surgeon.

What diseases does a cardiothoracic surgeon treat?

A cardiothoracic surgeon can treat a variety of issues in your chest, such as:

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