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Left sided thoracotomy T3-L1/2

Thoracic and lumbar pathologies: Left sided thoracotomy (T3-L1/2)

Skin Incision

A left sided thoracotomy can be used to perform a decompression of levels T3-L1/2.

The incision is carried out from postero-superiorly around the angle of the scapula, obliquely sloping to antero-inferiorly.

The length of the incision depends on many factors eg, number, location and pathology, obesity of the patient, previous thoracic operations, etc. 

It is necessary to confirm the correct level of the approach with fluoroscopy.