Cardiothoracic surgery is just another name for heart and lung surgery. Heart surgery, bypass surgery, angioplasty, and heart valve surgery are parts of cardiothoracic surgery.
The CPT code of cardiothoracic surgery is 216.

Also commonly known as thoracic surgery, it is “the field of medicine involved in the surgical treatment of organs inside the thorax, i.e chest, especially heart and lungs”. It involves any surgery related to the heart, lungs, esophagus, thymus, etc. 
Common cardiac procedures and surgeries:

  • Angioplasty
  • Bypass surgery
  • Cardiomyoplasty
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Artificial heart valve surgery
  • Minimally invasive heart surgery
  • Heart Transplant
  • Cost of the common heart surgeries including open heart surgery

What are some common cardiac procedures and surgeries?

Angioplasty: Also known by the names Percutaneous coronary interventions, balloon angioplasty, and coronary artery balloon dilation, this is one of the most common cardiothoracic surgeries.

What does Angioplasty do?

The procedure involves a special tubing with an attached deflated balloon threaded to coronary arteries. The balloon is inflated to widen the blocked areas in the vessels enabling the blood to flow through the heart muscles. This procedure comes with an application of a stent to help prop the artery open and minimize any chance of further blockage. The body isn’t cut open and it is considered less invasive. It lasts for around 30-60 minutes and helps in decreasing chest pain, and increasing physical ability increases blood flow through the blocked artery.

  • Laser angioplasty- Similar to angioplasty except for the fact that the catheter has a laser tip which helps to open the blocked artery. Pulsating beams of light vaporize the buildup of plaque.
  • Bypass surgery- Known by names such as CABG, coronary artery bypass graft, or open-heart surgery is another common yet complicated heart surgery.

What does Bypass surgery do?

Open-heart surgery is useful for treating blocked heart arteries by taking arteries or veins from another part of the body, called grafts. It uses them to reroute the blood around the clogged artery to help supply blood to the heart muscles.
It depends on the patient, and how many grafts the patient may undergo. The patient needs to be kept under observation in the hospital for a few days.

Cardiomyoplasty

This process involves the wrapping of a healthy muscle around the heart to provide support of the falling artery. The latissimus dorsi muscle is used for this purpose and a pacemaker is implanted to make the skeletal muscle contract

What does cardiomyoplasty do?

A muscle is taken from the abdomen. This muscle is aided by ongoing stimulation from a pacemaker to help boost the heart’s health.

Radiofrequency ablation

Also known as catheter ablation and rhizotomy, is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure using heat to stop the pain.

What does it do?

A catheter with an electrode at the tip is guided through veins to the heart muscles with a moving X-Ray being displayed on the screen. The catheter is placed at the exact site inside the heart where the cells give off the electrical signals which stimulate any abnormal heart rhythm. A mild, painless radiofrequency energy is transmitted to the pathway and destroys carefully selected heart muscles.

Cardiac catheterization & how does it work?

A process used to examine how well the heart is working where a thin hollow tube called a catheter is inserted into a large blood vessel that leads to the heart.
Catheterization is not risky, however very few people can suffer from major complications. 

Artificial Heart valve surgery

Also known as Heart Valve Replacement Surgery which replaces the abnormal or diseased heart valve with a newer and healthier one.

Minimally invasive Heart Surgery

Also known by names like Limited Access Coronary Artery surgery, PACAB, PortCAB, etc.

What does it do?

It is sometimes called an alternative to standard bypass surgery where small incisions are made in the chest and chest arteries, or veins from the leg are attached to the heart to “bypass” the clogged arteries. In a PACAB, the heart is made to stop and blood is pumped through an oxygenator machine.

Heart transplant

One of the complicated cardiothoracic surgeries where a diseased heart is replaced with a healthy heart. It is not simply the removal of a heart and replacing it with the other! It involves the lengthy process of donation.

How much does heart surgery cost?

The average cost for coronary bypass surgery is $40,000 which varies from cities and clinics etc. The American Heart Association report says that the average hospital charge for all common heart surgeries is $62,509. 

  • The plaque removal from an artery will cost around $30,588.
  • Bypass surgeries cost around $117,094.
  • Heart valve replacement surgeries may cost $164,238 on average.

There can also be additional costs as the physician’s consultancy fees, physical therapy fees, etc.

Always include the ZeaMed tool for price comparison.

References:
https://ctsurgery.weillcornell.org/surgical-services/cardiac-surgery/pediatric-cardiac-surgery/list-conditions
https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/treatment-of-a-heart-attack/cardiac-p

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