RIGHT ANTEROLATERAL THORACOTOMY FOR OPEN-HEART SURGERY, HOW TO DO A SAFE APPROACH
Walid AE Hammad* and Sherif Eliwa
Median sternotomy has been the conventional approach for performing open cardiac surgeries for many years, but it often yields poor cosmetic results. Unsightly midline scars arouse displeasure and psychological distress, especially in young female patients (1&2). Even if with the introduction of the ministernotomies, presence of a longitudinal scar still undesirable. The right anterolateral thoracotomy (RALT) has been advocated for many years and has been used as an alternative to ministernotomy, particularly in female patients. The RALT has gained great popularity over the past few years in patients with congenital and acquired heart disease because of the combination of good aesthetic and functional results. The superiority of this approach in adult female patients is clear focusing on patient satisfaction with the cosmetic and functional results in terms of minimal respiratory compromise and late breast development (1&3).
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