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Dr. Donald Thomas

Thoracic Surgery
San Luis Obispo, CA
36 years experience male

Locations

First Choice Physicians

San Luis Obispo, CA

Address

San Luis Obispo, CA
Directions

My office hours

Wednesday: 8:00am - 5:00am
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Practice website

About

Specialties
Doctors may have more than one area of specialty interest. Board certification in a specialty area means the doctor has completed formal training and has practice experience in that specialty, and has passed the certification examination from the corresponding accredited medical specialty board.

Thoracic Surgery

Languages spoken

English

Doctor Q&A

78 Answers
79 Agrees
The number of answers this doctor has agreed with.
A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Exam or Cardiac Echo: Heart valves are occasionally leaky (insufficient) or narrowed (stenotic). Physical exam (auscultation) can lead to the diagnosis by the quality and ... Read More
A 21-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Not really: Smoke is bad period. I would avoid it. Second hand smoke is also bad. Period. Cigarette smoking takes an average of 10 years off ones life. It is as b... Read More
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
If it can't be fixed: The tricuspid valve is the valve between the right atrium and right ventricle. Most commonly it can be repaired if it is leaking. If a repair is not... Read More
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Sometimes: Cadiac catheterization (right or left) is sometimes done for ASDs but only for more unusual cases. Most are seen well on a cardiac echo or cardiac M... Read More
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Carefully: Bypass surgery involves connecting a new tube ( artery or vein) to a coronary artery past a blockage. It is done on a stopped heart using the heart lu... Read More
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Good question: There is not much data on this. We do know healing progresses rapidly for six weeks and slowly for more part of the answers depends on why and where ... Read More
A 52-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Yes: Surgery is commonly done for this condition in patients that have symptoms and meet criteria.
A 21-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Typically not: Alcohol in moderation should not affect residual mitral regurgitation adversely.
A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Depends: This really depends on weather you are disabled or not.
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Yes: Typically I would recommend 4-6 weeks of recovery prior to flying if possible. Six weeks should pass before lifting more than 10 pounds and 8 weeks f... Read More
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Semantics: There is always a small amount if fluid in the pericardium.
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Minimal: The risks of stent placement are very low with proper technique and post procedure care. The risk of NOT having a stent is much higher. All risks ... Read More
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Aorta: The first and largest artery the blood enters leaving the heart is the aorta.
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Yes: Most are spontaneous and occur out side of the hospital. Severe pain is common usually in the back and chest. Going to the hospital is mandatory.
A 24-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Maybe: There is always hope, I believe. The question is how much. Unresponsive is vague, but many conditions causing it are reversible. A pacemaker does not... Read More
A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Now: There is really no contraindication to drinking coffee in moderation after heart surgery if every thing is going well.
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Typically: If a normal person with good lungs starts breathing fast and maintains this for say a minute: arterial O2, if it changes at all, might go up a very sm... Read More
A 55-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Heart failure: This is a common sign of heart failure and is quite worrisome. She should see her doctor or go to the er.
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Weakness of heart: When the left ventricle fails to pump normally dysfunction is present. The two common types include poor ejection of blood from a weak and enlarged he... Read More
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Complicated: Valves are either blocked or leaky or both. Damage is typically due to aging or calcification, congenital conditions, infections or structural deterio... Read More
A 37-year-old male asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Ignore: Risk factors are modifiable (diet, smoking, exercise, etc) or not (genetic). Can't get new genes.
A 49-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Typically: A Common number for resting cardiac output in an average man is 5 l/min. A four fold increase would yield 20 l/min which is seen at strenuous exercise... Read More
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Both: In a normal person, cardiac output increase with exertion then returns to a normal or resting level. With a malfunctioning heart, cardiac output is f... Read More
A 18-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
No: No. Unless you make another incision.
A 43-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Good question: Otherwise blood will back up in the lungs or body.
A 50-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Approximately: The time (incision to dressing) for a quintuple bypass is 3.5 hours plus or minus.
A 32-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Hmmmm: Information here is incomplete. A r heart cath doesn't show the coronary arteries. However an intramyocardial artery can occasionally cause symptoms. ... Read More
A male asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Similar: They are very simulate and frequently the same. This is really more of a name game. Thoracic surgery is surgery for every thing in the chest. Thoracic... Read More
A 58-year-old male asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Yes: A tee is an excellent test for heart valve issues.
A 39-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Depends: This is very difficult to answer with out more information. What type of arterial clot are you talking about?
A 21-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Yes: Alcohol in moderation (1-2 standard drinks per day) has an extremely low chance of causing valve failure.
A 47-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Maybe: Medications are often used in heart failure due to valve insufficiency. However surgery is sometimes the best treatment depending on the patient and t... Read More
A 37-year-old male asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Ignore: Lung nodules in smokers are more worrisome for cancer and the risk increases with age.
A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Multiple ways: Valve stenosis is the narrowing of a valve opening. Most commonly this causes flow disturbances which can be heard and is caused a murmur. Think of... Read More
A 24-year-old male asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
No: CABG is one method. Pci or percutaneous coronary intervention aka stent placement is another. Medical management is another. There are also hybrid pro... Read More
A 25-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Happens: The myocardial infarction or heart attack is loss of heart muscle leading to poor pump performance. Bypasses bring more blood to the heart muscle and ... Read More
A 21-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Probably: This is not unexpected. Watch for infection. Holding pressure and elevation would have helped.
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
A nodule on pleura: This is what is says. A 15 mm nodule or mass seen to be on or closely associate withe the pleura or lining of the lung or chest wall. Ie it is not wit... Read More
A 54-year-old male asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Depends: An exercise program or cardiac rehab is generally good in patients with CAD. Ask your doctor. The upper limit is not known but excessive exercise is b... Read More
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Simple: Respiratory care provides care for lung problems. Lungs are required.
A 62-year-old male asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Variable: Heart rate is typically normal after recovery (4-6 weeks)from a cabg. It very variable immediately after surgery while in the hospital. Rate depends ... Read More
A 21-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Yes: Your risk is higher than normal. Modifying the risks you can i.e. NOT smoking is crucial. Maintain a healthy lifestyle (exercise) and having a good ... Read More
A member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Catheter only: The disposable catheter depending on the type is between $120-400.
A 45-year-old male asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Maybe: Once the decision is made to formally recommend surgery to you, the surgeon should use the approach he is most comfortable with. Minimally invasive ap... Read More
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Carefully: Bypass surgery involves connecting a new tube ( artery or vein) to a coronary artery past a blockage. It is done on a stopped heart using the heart lu... Read More
A 63-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Yes: There are options but depending on the situation they may not be very good. It depends on the valve involved, the type of pathology, how ill the pati... Read More
A 47-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Closed: While the chest is opened to get to the heart to do bypass surgery the heart is not opened. The arteries are on the surface of the heart and therefore... Read More
A 26-year-old male asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
No, except: NSAIDS are not contraindicated after cardiac surgery due to specifics related to the operation. Aspirin is actually probably indicated after heart su... Read More
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Depends: There are many types of "holes" in the heart. The common ones are Atrial Septal Defects and Ventricular Septal Defects.
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Depends: Recovery from a cardiac arrest is possible. The longer one is "down" the worse the chance of recovery.

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Testimonials
Recommendations and Thank you notes are endorsements given from patients or other doctors.

3
Recommendations
41
Thank you notes
Smart, call me, caring and funny. What more do you want in a heart surgeon or colleague.
HealthTap member
Mar 31, 2015
Dr. Thomas is an amazing doctor! #nationaldoctorsday2015 #virtualflower1
HealthTap member
Mar 31, 2015
Dr. Thomas is an amazing doctor! #nationaldoctorsday2015 #virtualflower1
HealthTap member
Thank you, your answer was very helpful!
HealthTap member
This was very helpful. Thanks!
HealthTap member
This was very helpful. Thanks!

Education & Training

Medical/Graduate school

University of Michigan Medical School, MI
Graduated 1986MD

Residency

Wayne State University
Completed 1991

Awards

Top Doctor, First Place, San Luis Obispo Region - Summer
2014
Top Thoracic Surgeon , First Place, California - Summer
2014
Most Influential Doctor, First Place, San Luis Obispo Region - Summer
2014
90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions, provide medical advice, write prescriptions, and more.
Answer emailed
in 24 hours or less