Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2007; 55(6): 401-402
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-955943
Case Reports

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Intercostal Bundle-Splitting Thoracotomy Reduces Chronic Post-Thoracotomy Pain

J.-I. Lee1 , G.-W. Kim1 , K.-Y. Park1
  • 1Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Gachon Medical School, Gil Hospital, Incheon, Republic of Korea
Further Information

Publication History

Received June 5, 2006

Publication Date:
24 August 2007 (online)


Chronic post-thoracotomy pain occurs in approximately 50 % of patients after thoracotomy, and is the most common postoperative complication [[1]]. Moreover, previous work has shown that intercostal nerve damage may be responsible for chronic post-thoracotomy pain [[2], [3]]. Some authors have advocated the placement of intracostal sutures (placed after drilling holes in the bottom rib) to avoid nerve impingement during closure [[4]]. However, this method does not provide a means of avoiding the nerve during rib spreading, and it takes time to set up the drill and console. We describe here a means of avoiding the intercostal nerve during rib spreading and closure without any additional equipment.


MD Jae-Ik Lee

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Gachon Medical School, Gil Hospital

1198, Kuwol-Dong, Namdong-ku

Incheon 405-760

Republic of Korea

Fax: + 82 3 24 60 31 17