Cardiovascular surgeons are medical doctors who specialize in surgery of the heart and blood vessels. They typically perform heart surgeries and treat people who have a blockage in the blood vessels leading to the heart (coronary artery disease) or problems with heart valves. They may also do certain thoracic (chest and lung) surgeries.
Cardiovascular surgeons may further specialize in treating people of specific age groups, such as pediatric cardiovascular surgeons, who only treat children and often treat heart problems related to birth defects.
Cardiovascular surgeons can be board-certified by the Board of Surgery in general surgery or vascular surgery. The Board of Surgery is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.