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If you need surgery to treat a complication in your chest, which includes your lungs, esophagus, diaphragm and heart, your doctor will refer you to a thoracic surgeon. They’re trained to offer surgical treatment for tumors and abnormalities in these areas as well as respiratory and heart conditions like lung cancer, heart disease and diseases in the diaphragm.
Thoracic surgeons are similar to heart surgeons, except they have additional training in the entire cardiorespiratory system and in how your blood vessels work with your lungs and airways. They’re also trained on catheters used in the chest, as well as cardiac and respiratory support systems that might be part of your treatment plan.