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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cardiologist?

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.

What is an interventional cardiologist?

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.

What is a cardiothoracic surgeon?

Cardiothoracic surgeons are heart surgeons who perform surgery in the area of the heart and lungs. Cardiothoracic surgeons have extensive experience in complex, life-saving procedures and cardiac care, including advanced, specialized procedures such as robotic and video assisted lung surgery, minimally invasive mitral valve repair and complex neonatal repairs.

What kinds of injuries or disorders do cardiovascular surgeons treat?

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.

Am I a candidate for heart surgery?

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.

How will I pay for my cardiac procedure or surgery?

Tenet Florida Physician Services accepts most major insurance plans. Although we have group contracts with the providers listed, this list could change at any time. It is also possible that not all of our physicians participate in all the listed plans. You should always check with the medical practice prior to your visit to be sure that the physician participates in your specific insurance plan.

What are the risks associated with heart surgery?

Though its results often are excellent, heart surgery does have some risks. Risks may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection, fever, swelling and other signs of inflammation
  • A reaction to anesthesia
  • Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)
  • Damage to tissues in the heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs
  • Stroke, which may cause short-term or permanent damage
  • Death (More likely to occur in people who are very sick before the surgery)

In general, the risk of complications is higher if heart surgery is done in an emergency situation (for example, during a heart attack). The risk also is higher if you have other underlying diseases or conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, lung disease, or peripheral arterial disease. Your cardiac specialists at Tenet Florida Physician Services will go over the potential risks with you and help determine the course of treatment that’s best for you.

What conditions does Tenet Florida Physician Services treat?

Heart disease is not one condition, but rather a general term used to describe a range of diseases that can affect the heart. From diseases of your blood vessels to heart rhythm problems to heart defects you’re born with, Tenet Florida Physician Services treats the broad spectrum of cardiac conditions, including:

  • Arrhythmia
  • Adult congenital diseases
  • Angina
  • Congenital cardiac disease
  • Endocarditis
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve disorders
  • Hypertension
  • Valvular disease

Do I need a referral from my physician to be seen by a cardiac specialist?

Usually, cardiac surgery patients are referred by a general or family physician.

How do I learn more about my procedure?

Your Tenet Florida Physician Services doctor will explain about your particular procedure. You can also learn about various procedures here.

How do I schedule an appointment?

To make an appointment to speak with a specialist about a particular procedure, call 1.866.654.2362 or visit our Find a Doctor page.