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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is tracheobronchoplasty an open chest procedure?

Answered by
Dr. Ronald Schubert

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1984

Answered : 2407 Questions

Posted on Mon, 28 Dec 2015 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Is the chest opened at the sternum for tracheobronchoplasty? Does it "look like" open-heart surgery? My concern is the extent of the surgery, the morbidity/mortality rates and recovery time.
Answered by Dr. Ronald Schubert 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Tracheobronchoplasty is an open chest procedure

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for contacting HCM with your health care concerns

You unfortunately have tracheobronchomalacia and you are scheduled for a tracheobronchoplasty. The surgery has evolved al lot recently and the traditional surgical treatment was a thoracotomy and placing stents in the trachea and bronchi to strengthen the airways. There are some areas that are using video assisted surgery which would reduce the size of the thoracotomy. Overall though the recovery from this type of surgery is lengthy almost 6 months. I would discuss your concerns with your surgeon and together develop a plan that meets both of your needs.

I hope I answered your question. Please contact us again if you have any additional questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Ronald Schubert 16 minutes later
Dr. Schubert,
Thank you for your answer.In spite of the disgusting thought of having a circular saw cut my chest in half, I've heard that the surgery is usually successful.

After I wrote your question, I found:


Where, under "THE TREATMENT," the doctor states, "The ultimate treatment is surgical repair which requires a right posterolateral thoracotomy..." Working between two ribs may be a more difficult task for the surgeon, but seems to be a preferable method for the patient.

From a doctor's point of view, do you have any comment about the two methods of access?

Thank you.

Answered by Dr. Ronald Schubert 8 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Ask surgeon about their experience with the procedure

Detailed Answer:
From my stand point the most important thing to ask your doctor is their experience with the procedure. You have the right to know how many of these procedures they have done and their outcomes. If a surgeon is reluctant to tell you then move on. Look for someone who has done the procedure several times a year and has consistent good outcomes. If you have choice on procedures the least invasive like the procedure you mentioned would be preferred.

I hope I answered your question. Please contact us again if you have any additional questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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