Cardiothoracic surgeons and thoracic surgeons are both specialized medical professionals, but they have slightly different areas of expertise.

Cardiothoracic surgeons primarily focus on surgical procedures involving the heart and blood vessels within the chest cavity. They are skilled in performing surgeries such as coronary artery bypass grafting, mitral valve repair or replacement, aortic valve replacement, and heart transplantations. These surgeons are also knowledgeable in managing conditions related to the heart and blood vessels, such as heart failure and cardiovascular disease.

On the other hand, thoracic surgeons specialize in operations concerning the organs and structures within the thoracic cavity. This includes surgeries on the lungs, esophagus, mediastinum, chest wall, and diaphragm. Thoracic surgeons commonly perform procedures such as lung transplantation, lung cancer resection, esophageal surgery, and thoracic trauma surgery. In summary, while there is some overlap, cardiothoracic surgeons primarily focus on the heart and blood vessels within the chest, while thoracic surgeons specialize in surgeries involving the other organs and structures within the chest cavity.