Choosing Wisely®

The Choosing Wisely® campaign is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation that identifies targeted, evidence-based recommendations that can support conversations between patients and physicians about what care is really necessary. It aims to promote conversations between physicians and patients by helping patients choose care that is:

  • Supported by evidence
  • Not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received
  • Free from harm
  • Truly necessary

Click here to access the Choosing Wisely website and read more.

As part of the initiative, STS made the following five recommendations for cardiothoracic surgery:

  • Patients who have no cardiac history and good functional status do not require preoperative stress testing before noncardiac thoracic surgery;
  • Do not initiate routine evaluation of carotid artery disease before cardiac surgery in the absence of symptoms or other high-risk criteria;
  • Do not perform a routine predischarge echocardiogram after cardiac valve replacement surgery;
  • Patients with suspected or biopsy proven stage I non-small cell lung cancer do not require brain imaging before definitive care in the absence of neurologic symptoms; and
  • Before cardiac surgery, there is no need for pulmonary function testing in the absence of respiratory symptoms.

STS, the ABIM Foundation, and Consumer Reports have also collaborated to produce free patient brochures on several of the recommendations. Access the brochures by clicking on the links below:

Echocardiography after surgery to replace a heart valve
Heart stress tests before chest surgery
Tests before heart surgery

The brochure provides information suggesting when patients should (or shouldn’t) receive an echocardiogram after surgery to replace a heart valve and is now available on the Consumer Health Choices website.