Clamshell thoracotomy for en bloc resection of a 3-level thoracic chordoma: Technical note and operative video

John F. Burke, Andrew K. Chan, Rory R. Mayer, Joseph H. Garcia, Brenton Pennicooke, Michael Mann, Sigurd H. Berven, Dean Chou, Praveen V. Mummaneni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The clamshell thoracotomy is often used to access both hemithoraxes and the mediastinum simultaneously for cardiothoracic pathology, but this technique is rarely used for the excision of spinal tumors. We describe the use of a clamshell thoracotomy for en bloc excision of a 3-level upper thoracic chordoma in a 20-year-old patient. The lesion involved T2, T3, and T4, and it invaded both chest cavities and indented the mediastinum. After 2 biopsies to confirm the diagnosis, the patient underwent a posterior spinal fusion followed by bilateral clamshell thoracotomy for 3-level en bloc resection with simultaneous access to both chest cavities and the mediastinum. To demonstrate how the clamshell thoracotomy was used to facilitate the tumor resection, an operative video and illustrations are provided, which show in detail how the clamshell thoracotomy can be used to access both hemithoraxes and the mediastinum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Keywords

  • Chordoma
  • Clamshell thoracotomy
  • En bloc resection
  • Operative video
  • Surgical technique

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