Thoracotomy(redirected from transsternal thoracotomy)
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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.