Thoracotomy

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Thoracotomy

 

surgical incision of the wall of the chest. It is performed to treat diseases of or injury to the organs of the thorax, or for drainage of exudates. Thoracotomy is sometimes used in operations on organs of the upper abdomen, particularly the cardiac portion of the stomach. Depending on the site of the organ to be operated on and the disease, thoracotomy may be anterior, posterior, lateral, anterolateral, or posterolateral; other types of thoracotomy include pleurotomy, mediastinotomy, and pericardiotomy and their combinations. Thoracotomy is performed under general anesthesia, most commonly intratracheal, in combination with relaxants and controlled respiration.

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Breast and pectoral muscle maldevelopment after anterolateral and posterolateral thoracotomies in children.
Patients were randomly assigned to undergo additional endoscopic procedures using conventional staging methods or PETCT staging to see whether the use of PET-CT improved diagnostic accuracy and avoided futile thoracotomies. In the study, futile thoracotomy was defined as a benign lung lesion; pathologically proven mediastinal lymph node involvement (stage IIIA), IIIB, or IV disease; inoperable T3 or T4 disease; or recurrent disease or death from any cause within one year of randomization.
More than half of the thoracotomies were done for a penetrating cardiac injury with a 75% survival rate (97 out of 129).
Ferguson et al[16] documented 13 cases of chylothorax in 3589 thoracotomies (0.36% incidence) in an 8-year period.