STS Expert Consensus Documents provide practical assistance to STS members and the cardiothoracic surgery community. An Expert Consensus Document represents the collective opinions of an expert panel on a clinical topic. The opinions expressed in the statement do not necessarily reflect a formal evidence review and are not generally developed in accordance with the process outline for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines; however, the authors may suggest treatment strategies based on their collective knowledge and clinical experience.
Expert Consensus Documents are intended as one element of a physician's armamentarium. Physicians are strongly encouraged to use all available resources and their best judgment in making recommendations or decisions regarding individual patients.