Definition of Thoracic Surgery

Thoracic Surgery encompasses the operative, perioperative, and surgical critical care of patients with acquired and congenital pathologic conditions within the chest. Included are the surgical repair of congenital and acquired conditions of the heart, including the pericardium, coronary arteries, valves, great vessels and myocardium.

In addition to operations and management of diseases of the thoracic and thoracoabdominal aorta, the scope of practice includes the evaluation of vascular disease, the exposure, cannulation, reconstruction and treatment of the carotid, brachiocephalic, axillary, iliac and femoral vessels.

It also includes pathologic conditions of the lung, esophagus and chest wall, tumors of the mediastinum, and diseases of the diaphragm and pericardium. Management of the airway and injuries to the chest are also within the scope of the specialty.

The American Board of Thoracic Surgery considers it inappropriate to exclude its Diplomates from credentialing for care of thoracic surgical patients in a critical care setting based on the Diplomate's training or board certification. Our Diplomates have been trained in critical care management of thoracic surgical patients and they have successfully completed both written and oral examinations, which cover the critical care aspects of the thoracic surgical patients.

Requirements for Certification by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery

A Board-certified thoracic surgeons has successfully completed a residency program in thoracic surgery at an approved academic center and has successfully completed the Part I (Written) examination and Part II (Oral) examination given by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.  These requirements, designed to provide a comprehensive assessment of the thoracic surgeon's knowledge, skills, and experience, assure that upon certification, the thoracic surgeons is prepared to provide patient care that meets the highest possible standards.

Professional Statement

The American Board of Thoracic Surgery endorses the American College of Surgeon's Code of Professional Conduct.