What is a cardiothoracic surgeon and what is a cardiologist?

At London Cardiac and Vascular Associates, we have a comprehensive team of both cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons. Once you have finished studying medicine at university you will go in to the hospital to train and then specialise in a certain area. Our team consists of three consultant cardiologists and two consultant cardiothoracic surgeons

Dr Narbeh Melikian – consultant cardiologist

Dr Jonathan Byrne – consultant cardiologist

Dr Rafal Dworworakowski – consultant cardiologist

Mr Jatin Desai – consultant cardiothoracic surgeon

Mr Ranjit Despande – consultant cardiothoracic surgeon

Cardiothoracic surgeon

A cardiothoracic surgeon is a doctor that specialises in surgical procedure for the heart, lungs and other organs that are in the chest. They are responsible for operating on diseases that affects organs. One of the most common conditions that they treat is coronary artery disease. Since becoming a surgeon, Mr Despande has become well known for his knowledge in minimally invasive heart surgery. Mr Desai has specialised in aortic root surgery, surgical ablation for atrial fibrillation and minimally invasive cardiac surgery.


A cardiologist is a doctor who diagnoses, assess and treat diseases and abnormalities that affect the cardiovascular systems (heart and blood vessels). Unlike cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiologists do not perform their procedures in a theatre, instead they perform specialists minimally invasive procedures in a Catheter lab. A Catheter lab is a purpose-built clinical facility with access to live imaging and cardiac monitoring. Cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons will often work together; the cardiologists will assess a patient, diagnose and then refer the patient to see a cardiothoracic surgeon if treatment is required.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.