Thoracic Cavity Approach - Sternotomy
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Thoracic Cavity Approach - Sternotomy

The Thoracic Cavity Approach – Sternotomy will teach you:

  • To provide adequate exposure of intra-thoracic structures, to optimize the likelihood of a successful outcome from the planned procedure. The median sternotomy is the approach of choice for most cardiac surgical operations. It offers excellent exposure to the heart, pericardium, great vessels, thymus, anterior mediastinal structures, lower trachea, and carina and is well suited for bilateral pulmonary procedures such as resection of bilateral pulmonary metastasis.

Special attention is paid to the following hazards you may encounter during the Thoracic Cavity Approach – Sternotomy:

  • Periosteum stripping
  • Penetrating  injuries by stainless steel wires used for closure of the sternum

With the following tips you might perform the Thoracic Cavity Approach – Sternotomy even better:

  • Prevention of damage to underlying structures
  • Decreasing the risk of damage to the brachial plexus
  • Waxing the bone edges of the sternum to stop bleeding

After studying the Thoracic Cavity Approach – Sternotomy course you are familiar with the most common complications:

  • Intercostal neurovascular nerve damage
  • Rib fractures
  • Damage to underlying thoracic structures

You might also be interested in:

Thoracic Cavity Approach – Muscle Splitting
Thoracic Cavity Approach – Emergency Thoracotomy

Step by step

Thoracic cavity approach

Skin

Mark

Mark the sternal angle and the xiphoid process on the skin.

Incise

Make a skin incision with a scalpel that extends from the midpoint between the sternal angle (angle of Louis) and the suprasternal notch to below the xiphoid process.

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