Cardiac surgery, also called as cardiovascular or cardiothoracic surgery refers to surgery on heart vessels or the heart performed by cardiac surgeons. The best heart specialist in India trained in surgery performs the function of cardiac surgery.

This surgery is mostly used for treating complications of ischemic disease of the heart ( bypass grafting of the coronary artery), for correcting congenital heart diseases and treating valvular disease caused by various factors, like atherosclerosis, rheumatic heart disease, and endocarditis. Another procedure is heart transplantation.

The cardio-thoracic facility of a hospital is regarded by many in the medical community as the standard-setting department for the complete hospital. Such high status accorded to the cardiac surgery departments puts much responsibility on the cardiac surgeons working here.

Qualities needed for a cardiac surgeon include special qualities required by cardiac cases as well as qualities needed by a general surgeon. These are as follows:

Technical Excellence

There is no substitute for this quality. Ultimately, the ability of surgeons will be determined by the effectiveness of surgical procedures conducted by them. Whatever be the work environment, be it in the academic setting or private setting, cardiac surgeons need to be the best technical surgeons that they can be. This is for professional expertise as well as guiding trainee doctors. For instance, the surgeon is the ultimate decision-maker on whether to conduct surgery or not. He must decide on the right procedure and have the manual dexterity to conduct the same.

Expertise in Understanding Physiology

The first ability of a cardiac surgeon is an extensive knowledge of pulmonary physiology, especially testing of pulmonary function. He should know the limits and extent of pulmonary resectability based on pulmonary screening. He must have the capacity to interpret routine studies of pulmonary function like MVO2 or exercise oximetry.

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The second area in which the surgeon must be proficient in the application and interpretation of the results from cardiac testing. He should be an expert in analyzing cardiac catheterization data, transesophageal echocardiography, and coronary angiography.

Good Teacher

The ideal cardiac surgeon will be a great teacher in an academic medical setting. He should instruct and inspire the junior cardiac surgery residents to raise questions, seek knowledge and share information as well as offer them the chance to participate and contribute to surgical research.

Expertise in Radiology

The modern cardiac surgeon should have the capacity to interpret a 3-dimensional knowledge from a radiographic, physiologic and anatomic viewpoint. This knowledge, on the basis of experience, teaches him what is possible to accomplish and what is not. Only the surgeon has the skill to interpret all three modalities of radiographic, physiologic and anatomic data because of experience.

Knowledge of New Surgical Technology

The best cardiac surgeon will be familiar with photo chemicals, laser, gene therapy, robotics, transplantation immunology, oncologic principles, molecular markers as well as the emerging, new field of digital technology which impacts cardiac surgery. For instance, robotics is being increasingly used in minimally invasive procedures. Laser and photodynamic therapy are used to combat tumors.  Gene therapy is at the forefront of many medical lab investigations.

Awareness of Healthcare Economics

The cardiac surgeon must be aware of the impact of the government on healthcare economics and cardiac education. He must be open to tackle economic issues and to try and endeavor to find their solutions. Also, he must know the economic consequences of results in congenital and cardiac heart surgery. Such results may be used as standardized measures by which comparisons of surgeons are made.

The following issues are part of healthcare economics:

  • Competition for market share
  • Experienced and sophisticated purchase of service
  • Emphasis on service and cost
  • Overcapacity in personnel and services.
  • Changes in mode of offering service, research, price, and marketing.
  • Falling profits
  • Reduction in subsidization of all areas of cardiac surgery

Adaptability

The cardiac surgeon needs to be adaptable in the face of changes. He must be open to new ideas and never have a closed mind. These are some of the criteria by which you can evaluate the qualities of a great cardiac surgeon. But apart from such skills, the surgeon must be compassionate to his patients. With such findings, one can easily identify the best heart specialist in India.