Cardiologists are physicians who treat the heart and its diseases using diagnostics and medication. Unlike cardiac surgeons, they do not perform surgical procedures. They see patients with both routine and complex cases of heart disease and heart conditions.

Interventional cardiologists are trained in cardiology, and then continue on for additional training in interventional cardiology. This extra training allows them to perform minimally invasive procedures involving small incisions and catheters instead of traditional surgery. These procedures are used to diagnose and treat diseases such as heart valve disorders; coronary artery disease; congenital heart disease; endocarditis; peripheral artery disease.

Cardiovascular surgeons perform surgeries that include repair or replacement of heart valves; bypassing or widening of blocked arteries to the heart; repair of aneurysms; treatment of coronary artery disease; implanting of devices to regulate heart rhythm or support heart function and blood flow; and replacement of a damaged heart with a healthy heart from a donor.

If other treatments—such as lifestyle changes, medicines, and medical procedures—haven’t worked or can’t be used to treat your cardiac condition, heart surgery might be an option. Your Tenet primary care doctor, cardiologist, and cardiothoracic surgeon will work with you to decide whether heart surgery is the best treatment option for you.