The STS Blog offers a place for patients affected by heart, lung, and esophageal diseases to find the most current information related to cardiothoracic surgery.

The Blog will feature a wide variety of topics and discussions that address the questions most frequently asked by patients when they meet with cardiothoracic surgeons.

New blog entries will be added regularly, offering new topics and updated information.

Blog Articles
Blog Articles

August 17, 2022/By Mitch Bugno
Unfinished Work: From Half-Marathoner to Heart Patient
Mitch wasn’t a “runner.” He was a middle-aged guy who enjoyed a run. Over a few years of competitive half-marathons, he finally learned to heed the messages his body was sending him.
Part One: When to Slow Down
Part Two: When to Listen

July 5, 2022/By Mara Antonoff, MD
Why do we need molecular profiling if you can just take the tumor out?

For people recently diagnosed with lung cancer, it’s understandable to want to start treatment right away. But here’s why it’s important to first know the specific makeup of the tumor.

September 9, 2020/By Carin Andersen
Thriving, Not Just Surviving Aortic Dissection
January 29, 2015, was the day Carin 2.0 was born.

August 19, 2020/By Dawn Hui, MD
How Heart Disease Is Different in Men and Women
Although the saying goes “men are from Mars, women are from Venus,” one thing both have in common is the #1 cause of death—cardiovascular disease. 

May 27, 2020/By Jennifer J. Wan, MD
What Heart Patients Should Know About COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown into chaos our understanding of health and our ability to get care.

May 20, 2020/By Raina Sinha, MD, MPH
How Is COVID-19 Affecting Congenital Heart Disease Patients?

Babies will be born regardless of the current state of “lockdown” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

May 13, 2020/By Elizabeth H. Stephens, MD, PhD
From Hospital to Home: Patient Communication During COVID-19
In this time of social distancing, communication between patients with cardiac disease and physicians has been transformed in an effort to decrease disease exposure. 

April 10, 2020/By Matthew A. Steliga, MD
Smoking Increases Risk for COVID-19 Complications—So It’s a Great Time to Quit

It is well known that smoking results in worse outcomes in people with pneumonia or influenza, and we are learning that smoking can pose significant risks in those with COVID-19. 

March 23, 2020/By Robbin G. Cohen, MD, and Elizabeth A. David, MD
How Will COVID-19 Impact My Upcoming Surgery?

If you or a loved one just had a scheduled cardiac or thoracic operation postponed because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you are not alone. 

March 16, 2020/By J. Robert Headrick, MD, MBA
Smoking and the Teenage Brain: What You Need to Know

When it comes to teens and the dangers of smoking, there’s a lot more to consider than just the increased risk of emphysema and lung cancer later in life. 

March 4, 2020/By Mara B. Antonoff, MD, and Carla Patel, RN, ACNP-BC
Who Will Be Involved in My Care After Lung Surgery?
Getting to know these health care professionals and their specific roles may help you understand better what to expect during your inpatient stay and whom to ask for any questions that might arise. 

February 13, 2020/By Lauren C. Kane, MD
Five Questions Parents Ask About Heart Defects
While there are some heart defects that are known to be associated with specific genetic syndromes, this is not always the case. 

February 3, 2020/By Mara Antonoff, MD, and Leah Backhus, MD, MPH
​How We Balance Motherhood and Cardiothoracic Surgery
Despite the challenges of being both mothers and CT surgeons, we firmly believe that carrying these two titles simultaneously is not only possible, but enormously rewarding.

January 30, 2020/By Amy E. Hackmann, MD
Flu Season: What You Need to Know
Just because you are young and healthy doesn’t mean you do not need to be concerned about the risk of the flu.

November 18, 2019/By Philip W. Carrott, MD
Think Twice About Vaping
Since vaping and e-cigarettes have become more popular over the last several years, many patients—particularly during conversations about quitting smoking—have asked me, “Is vaping okay?” or “Is vaping safe?” 

November 11, 2019/By Jennifer S. Nelson, MD, MS
Preparing for Your Child’s Heart Surgery: Life in the Cardiac ICU

When your child is in the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU), many care providers will be involved both before and after surgery. This article will give you an idea about life in the CICU and the team members involved in your child’s care plan.

November 1, 2019/By Mara B. Antonoff, MD, FACS
Lung Cancer Prevention
Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the US. 

September 18, 2019/By Richard K. Freeman, MD, MBA
Reducing Opioids after Surgery Benefits Patients, Communities
Opioid medications (pills containing a narcotic) traditionally have been prescribed to treat pain after surgery. However, opioid use after surgery is associated with increased risk of opioid dependence. 

September 5, 2019/By James R. Edgerton, MD, FACC, FACS, FHRS
What You Need to Know About Atrial Fibrillation (Afib)
Atrial fibrillation (Afib) affects millions of Americans from every walk of life.

August 23, 2019/By Brendon M. Stiles, MD
Should I Be Screened for Lung Cancer?

Underneath the seemingly simple question, “Should I be screened for lung cancer?,” lies a contentious debate.

July 16, 2019/By Kendra J. Grubb, MD, MHA
3D Models Help Cardiac Surgeons Prepare for Surgery

Cardiac surgeons can now use 3D modeling technology to simulate complex operations, making the seemingly impossible possible.

June 18, 2019/By Nestor Villamizar, MD, and Omar Marchant
What Is Recovery from Lung Cancer Surgery Really Like?
Multiple variables influence the way patients recover from lung cancer surgery—some variables relate to the patient; others relate to the surgery itself. 

2019 Blog Articles

2018 Blog Articles

2017 Blog Articles

2016 Blog Articles

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons

The STS mission is to advance cardiothoracic surgeons’ delivery of the highest quality patient care through collaboration, education, research, and advocacy.