The majority of heart diseases are initially treated medically by cardiologists. If, over time, your heart disease progresses to the point that medication no longer works to relieve the problem, heart surgery becomes an option, and you need to be evaluated by a cardiac surgeon.
The most common condition for which patients require heart surgery is coronary artery disease. Left untreated, it can lead to a heart attack. Coronary artery bypass surgery accounts for about 40 percent of heart surgeries. The next most common cardiac surgery, comprising about 25 percent of cases, is valve replacement or repair surgery. Other surgeries, including the implantation of mechanical assist devices, are helping patients with increasing frequency.