Thoracic surgery is any type of surgery that is performed on organs and tissues located within the chest cavity, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. It lists thoracic surgeries as procedures to treat heart disease, lung cancer, hiatal hernias, swallowing disorders, atrial fibrillation, coronary blockages and leaking heart valves.
Johns Hopkins also states that thoracic surgeons obtain biopsies and perform organ transplant surgeries. Thoracic surgeons can specialize in either cardiac and cardiovascular disease or congenital heart disease, but they can also become general thoracic surgeons who treat diseases like lung cancer, according to The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Intuitive Surgical recommends a variant that is minimally invasive and involves the use of scopes and robotic-assisted technology.