Thoracoplasty: Still relevant to current practice

Rebecca Phillip, Amber Bettis, Daniel Davenport, Sibu Saha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Management of residual pleural space remains a challenge in the practice of thoracic surgery. Options include thoracotomy with muscle flap/wound vac, Eloesser procedure, or thoracoplasty. We examine current practice and short-term outcomes of thoracoplasty in the American College of Surgeons National Surgery Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP). Methods: A retrospective review of thoracoplasty procedures (by CPT® code 32900, 32905, or 32906) in the ACS NSQIP database from the years 2012 to 2017 was performed. The ACS NSQIP prospectively collects perioperative and rigorous 30-day outcome data for patients undergoing major thoracic surgical nationally. Results: The dataset contained 131 thoracoplasties in patients with an average age of 48 years (SD 19), average BMI of 26 kg/m2 (SD 5), 48% female, and 21% of minority race. Forty percent of patients were ASA class III and 10% class IV–V. Five percent of the patients had muscle flap in addition to thoracoplasty. Median operative duration was 101 min (interquartile range 61–167) and 8% of patients required blood transfusion. The average length of hospital stay was 6 days (SD 9), and 93% of patients were discharged home. There was one death, and 23% experienced other major morbidity. Thirty-day readmission occurred in 8% of patients and 6% returned to the operating room within 30 days. Four percent of patients experienced respiratory failure, 4% sepsis, and 5% developed pneumonia. Conclusions: Short-term outcomes of current thoracoplasty demonstrate low mortality and morbidity. Thoracoplasty should remain in our armamentarium for managing residual pleural space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-523
Number of pages6
JournalAsian Cardiovascular and Thoracic Annals
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • Thoracoplasty
  • muscle flap
  • residual pleural space
  • thoracic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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