from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Surgical incision of the chest wall.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The surgical procedure of making an incision into the chest, normally as a first step to gain access to the thoracic organs, such as the heart, the lungs, and the esophagus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The operation of opening the pleural cavity by incision.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In surgery, the operation of free incision through the thoracic walls. Compare thoracentesis.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. surgical incision into the chest walls opening up the pleural cavity


Latin thōrāx, thōrāc-, thorax + -tomy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • In this operation, known as a thoracotomy, an incision was made between a pair of Clinton’s ribs, and doctors spread them apart to make room for the insertion of surgical instruments that peeled off tissue surrounding the scar tissue and then the hard, rubbery rind.

    The Comeback Id

  • Ganesh A, Adzick NS, Foster T, Cucchiaro G. Efficacy of addition of fentanyl to epidural bupivacaine on postoperative analgesia after thoracotomy for lung resection in infants.

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  • Our experienced pediatric surgeons can safely perform a thoracotomy and lobectomy in infants with minimal risk of morbidity, and thoracoscopic resection has been performed.

    Bronchopulmonary sequestration and Congenital Cystic Adenomatoid

  • Ron was a 57 year old psychologist who was scheduled the following morning to have a thoracotomy performed in order to replace his congenitally leaking aortic valve.

    All Things Girl » All Things Girl » Blog Archive » Guest Post: Dr. Janine Talty, D. O., M. P. H.

  • Ron was a 57 year old psychologist who was scheduled the following morning to have a thoracotomy performed […]

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  • Doctors recommend surgery for lung cancer only when they believe that the surgeon will be able to remove every cancer cell from the body and only if they deem the patient strong enough to survive a highly invasive thoracotomy.

    Raymond Carver

  • As was the case in earlier studies, the thoracotomy incision alone may have an important effect directly or indirectly on the patient's perception of pain.


  • Double-blind studies conducted later by Cobb et al. and Dimond et al. demonstrated that a sham thoracotomy alone could decrease the need for nitroglycerin and increase exercise tolerance and that it produced subjective improvement in more than 35 percent of patients.


  • It was to be a simple thoracotomy, a wedge resection of a peripheral pulmonary nodule.


  • Eugenia, sitting beside Humphrey, paid no attention to the sermon at all; she was working out the next lot of off-duty in her head, wondering about the patient with the thoracotomy, and thinking, rather to her own surprise, about Mr Grenfell.

    Heidelberg Wedding


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