Dr. Donald Thomas

Thoracic Surgery
San Luis Obispo, CA
37 years experience male

Locations

First Choice Physicians

San Luis Obispo, CA

Address

San Luis Obispo, CA
Directions

My office hours

Thursday: Closed
Show more

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 40-year-old male asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Need more info: We really need for information here. ? Fever, chils, shortness of breath, pain, etc. really should quit smoking it really is as bad as we say it is.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 52-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Heart: The aortic valve is located at the junction of the heart and the aorta. Looking down the aorta (picture) one can see the three leaflets of the valve. ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 44-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Overall: Both the equipment and the technical approaches have advanced over the last few years. There has been advances in robotic equipment and general equip... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 60-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
A leaky valve: The tricuspid valve one of the four heart valves that keeps the blood moving in a forward direction. It is located between the Right Atrium and the R... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 45-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Depends on severity: Mild aortic valve insufficiency can be asymptomatic and watched for years. Severe aortic regurgitation may be a life threatening emergency. Careful ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 37-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Many things: Common reasons for paralysis of the diaphragm include interruption of the phrenic nerve due to trauma, invasion by tumor and vascular compression. Add... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Yes: Death if heart muscle is known as a myocardial infarction commonly called a heart attack. The septum refers to an specific area of the heart that in ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Yes: Coffee is not contraindicated in the majority of patients. If abnormal rhythm issues are present it might be better to avoid caffeine. Moderation is... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Heart lung machine: There are two common ways to perform bypass surgery. Beating heart surgery can be done without stopping the heart by using stabilizers. The patients h... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 50-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Occasionally: The risk of a true mi after cardiac surgery varies from 3 to 30% depending on the criteria used to measure it. Typically 8-10% is quoted with 2-3% bei... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 32-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Depends: The severity of your aortic stenosis (AS), cardiac function, lung function and other medical conditions all weigh into the prognosis. Typically aorti... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 39-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Common: This recommendation is given approximately 500, 000 times a year in the us. Coronary artery bypass is an effective treatment preventing death and myoc... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 28-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
No: This is not normal and should be investigated. It could be a sign of reoccurrence.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Several reasons: Drugs given via an IV route have a chance to diffuse and dilute in the blood stream before hitting the capillaries of the periphery where they may hav... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 50-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Bad idea.: It can be done but it is not a good idea. The risk albeit small is primarily embolism down the leg. Blood should be given via an intravenous approac... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 38-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Time will tell: This is a complicated question. It frequently can regress with treatment but much is dependent on type of malignancy, nutritional status , tumor burde... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Hmmmm: Not sure what you mean by infraction. This is not a common term used in cardiac care. A typo or wrong word. Did you mean infarction?
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 39-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Kinda: Grulomas imply benign disease with a high probability is seen on ct. A nodule may be a granuloma or may have malignant characteristics.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Yes: A large pleural effusion in the setting of malignancy is worrisome for metastatic spread.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 32-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Rarely: This is an extremely rare event but it is described. Best to talk to anesthesiologist.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 35-year-old male asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Yes: Yes. If there are significant blockages making him a candidate for bypass surgery it can be performed safely with a minor increase in risk.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 32-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Maybe: Stem cells are providing some exciting new hope in treating heart failure as well as other medical conditions. Their use is still highly experimental ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 47-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 37-year-old male asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Ignore: Having a healthy life style is important.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Aorta: The first and largest artery the blood enters leaving the heart is the aorta.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 24-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 37-year-old male asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Ignore: Risk factors are modifiable (diet, smoking, exercise, etc) or not (genetic). Can't get new genes.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 18-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
No: No. Unless you make another incision.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 50-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Approximately: The time (incision to dressing) for a quintuple bypass is 3.5 hours plus or minus.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 43-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Good question: Otherwise blood will back up in the lungs or body.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 49-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 52-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Yes: Surgery is commonly done for this condition in patients that have symptoms and meet criteria.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 55-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Typically not: Alcohol in moderation should not affect residual mitral regurgitation adversely.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 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
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Semantics: There is always a small amount if fluid in the pericardium.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Depends: This really depends on weather you are disabled or not.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Thomas
Thoracic Surgery 37 years experience
Now: There is really no contraindication to drinking coffee in moderation after heart surgery if every thing is going well.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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

3
Recommendations
43
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