Alternative (muscle-sparing) incisions in thoracic surgery

R J Ginsberg
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 1993, 56 (3): 752-4
The technique, advantages, and disadvantages of a vertical axillary thoracotomy are discussed. This is a total muscle-sparing incision that allows adequate exposure of all intrathoracic structures. Postoperatively, there is excellent cosmetic healing and full shoulder girdle movement. The postthoracotomy pain also appears to be less. I prefer this approach for most routine thoracotomies, although I do not use it when chest wall resections or extremely difficult hilar dissections are anticipated.

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