Thoracotomy is a surgical procedure to open the chest cavity. This procedure allows the surgeon to access the lungs, throat, heart, diaphram and aorta.
Thoracotomy is a surgical procedure to open the chest cavity. This procedure allows the surgeon to access the lungs, throat, heart, diaphram and aorta. Typically an incision of 6 to 10 inches is made at the center, or on left or right side of the chest. There are 3 types of thoracotomy procedures:
Limited anterior or lateral thoracotomy is an incision between the ribs on the front or on side of the chest. It is a smaller incision and allows access to the structures and organs in the front of the chest cavity.
Posterolateral thoracotomy is an incision across the side and around the back of the chest. It is a larger incision that allows access to more of the chest, including an entire lung.
Sternal splitting thoracotomy is an incision down the front of the chest and through the breastbone. It allows access to entire chest cavity, including both lungs and heart.
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