Other Thoracic Procedures

Surgeries explained

Decortication/Drainage of empyema is a surgical procedure that removes infected fluid/debris from the chest. Decortication is the removal of a restrictive layer/cortex of fibrous tissue from the lung, the cortex forms as a result of infection or compression of the lung. The aim of decortication is to remove this layer and allow the lung to reexpand.

Pleurectomy is a surgical procedure that is done to remove part of the pleura (lining inside the chest wall) it is often carried out to manage persistent pleural effusions, pneumothoraces, or a cancer known as mesothelioma

Thymectomy is the removal of the thymus gland which is carried out for diagnosis, cancer or to manage the symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis.

Myasthenia Gravis is an uncommon condition that causes certain muscles to become weak. It is an autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system attacks your own body tissues.  Although there is no cure for this, surgical removal of the thymus gland (thymectomy) improves the symptoms of myasthenia gravis in more than 70% of those who have it. Symptoms disappear completely in over 30% of people. However, the improvement may take some time to appear. It is usually seen within the first year, but may take up to three years.

Mediastinal mass surgery includes several different types of procedures, which are done to biopsy or remove abnormal growths that form in the area that separates the lungs in the middle of your chest. This area, called the mediastinum, is surrounded by the breastbone in front, the spine in back, and the lungs on each side. The mediastinum contains the heart, aorta, esophagus, thymus and trachea. Due to their location in the mediastinum, mediastinal tumors (both benign and malignant) that are left untreated can cause serious complications.

Rib resection for Thoracic outlet syndrome. The thoracic outlet is the ring formed by the top ribs, just below the collarbone. Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) occurs when nerves or blood vessels are compressed by the rib, collarbone or neck muscles at the top of the outlet. Different types of thoracic outlet syndrome call for different treatments. Surgery involves dividing some of the small muscles of the neck and removing the cervical or first rib.

Plication of diaphragm is performed for paralysis or abnormal elevation of the diaphragm which can result in breathing difficulties. Diaphragm paralysis is typically due to damage to the phrenic nerve; abnormal elevation/shape is most commonly congenital. Surgical plication to stabilize the diaphragm is performed to improve breathing.

Lung Transplant is a surgical procedure to replace a diseased or failing lung with a healthy lung, usually from a deceased donor. Depending on your medical condition, a lung transplant may involve replacing one of your lungs or both of them.  A variety of diseases and conditions can damage your lungs and hinder their ability to function effectively. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema
  • Scarring of the lungs (pulmonary fibrosis)
  • High blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension)
  • Cystic fibrosis

All lung transplants are performed in the Heart & Lung Transplant Unit in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital. For further information please visit : https://www.mater.ie/services/heart-and-lung-transplant/

Thoracic Surgery Ireland