Current indications for left thoracotomy in coronary revascularization and valvular procedures

Jerry W. Pratt, Thomas E. Williams, Robert E. Michler, David A. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background. Left thoracotomy is infrequently used for cardiac procedures, but its application in reoperative and minimally invasive coronary revascularization and in valvular procedures has been reported recently. Methods. Three case reports and a review of the current literature illustrate the unique benefits of this approach for myocardial revascularization and valve replacement. Results. Reoperative coronary revascularization of the left anterior descending and circumflex coronary arteries was performed off-pump via a left posterolateral thoracotomy. For the second case, this approach was used for coronary artery bypass grafting of the right coronary and left anterior descending arteries with femoral-femoral cardiopulmonary bypass in a patient with congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease who also required closure of a patent ductus arteriosus. In the third case, mitral valve replacement using femoral venous and aortic cannulation for cardiopulmonary bypass was performed via a left thoracotomy to avoid a retrosternal gastric conduit in a patient with severe mitral stenosis and congestive heart failure. All patients returned to normal activity and are asymptomatic. Conclusions. These case reports and a comprehensive review of the literature demonstrate the utility of left thoracotomy as an alternative approach to standard median sternotomy in selected cases of revascularization and valvular procedures. (C) 2000 by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1366-1370
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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