Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Thorax: thoracotomy

Contributor(s): Graham Munroe

Introduction

  • The thoracic cavity of the horse is seldom invaded surgically because of the low incidence of surgical diseases of the thorax, the prognosis of such diseases and economic considerations.
  • However, there are indications for surgical access to the thorax; three types of thoracotomy are:
    • Rib resection thoracotomy.
    • Intercostal thoracotomy.
    • Median sternotomy and trans-sternal thoracotomy.

Uses

  • Repair of diaphraghmatic hernia   Diaphragm: hernia  .
  • Closure of penetrating wounds .
  • Drainage of pulmonic and pleural abscesses   Lung: abscess  .
  • Repair of rib fractures.
  • Partial lobectomy for neoplastic/septic conditions .
  • Correction of congenital cardiovascular anomalies .
  • Exposure of thoracic esophagus   Esophagus: impaction  .

Advantages

  • Can be carried out in standing patient in certain circumstances.

Disadvantages

  • Technically challenging.
  • Limited exposure.
  • Intermittent positive pressure ventilation (IPPV) and suction essential.
  • Special instruments may be required.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Monteiro S, Segard E & Lepage O M (2011) Abdominal abscess involving a metallic foreign body removed via thoracotomy in a horse. Equine Vet Educ 23 (6), 289-293 VetMedResource.


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