thoracic

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thoracic

 [thŏ-ras´ik]
pertaining to the chest (thorax); called also pectoral.
thoracic outlet syndrome compression of the brachial plexus nerve trunks and subclavian vessels, with pain in the upper limbs, paresthesia of fingers, vasomotor symptoms, and weakness and wasting of small muscles of the hand; it may be caused by drooping shoulder girdle, a cervical rib (cervical rib syndrome) or fibrous band, an abnormal first rib, continual hyperabduction of the arm (as during sleep), or compression of the edge of the scalenus anterior muscle.
thoracic surgery surgical procedures involving entrance into the chest cavity. Until techniques for endotracheal anesthesia were perfected, this type of surgery was extremely dangerous because of the possibility of lung collapse. By administering anesthesia under pressure through an endotracheal tube it is now possible to keep one or both lungs expanded, even when they are subjected to atmospheric pressure. Thoracic surgery includes procedures involving the lungs, heart, and great vessels, as well as tracheal resection, esophagogastrectomy, and repair of hiatal hernia. In order to give intelligent care to the patient before and after surgery, one must have adequate knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the chest and thoracic cavity. It is especially important to know the difference in pressures within and outside the thoracic cavity. (See also discussion of Mechanics of Inflation and Deflation, under lung.)
Patient Care. Prior to surgery the care of the patient will depend on the specific operation to be done and the particular disorder requiring surgery. In general, the patient should be given an explanation of the operative procedure anticipated and the type of equipment that will be used in the postoperative period. The patient will be taught the proper method of coughing to remove secretions accumulated in the lungs. Although coughing may be painful in the immediate postoperative period and may require analgesic medication to relieve the discomfort, if the patient understands the need for coughing up the secretions he or she will be more cooperative. Special exercises may be given to preserve muscular action of the shoulder on the affected side and to maintain proper alignment of the upper portion of his or her body and arm. Usually the physical therapist supervises these exercises, but the nursing staff must coordinate them with other aspects of patient care.



Narcotics are rarely given before thoracic surgery because they can depress respiration. Usually the preoperative medication is atropine in combination with a barbiturate.

The development of intensive care units has sharply improved the care of the post-thoracotomy patient. The availability of monitors, ventilators, and special assist devices has increased not only the safety of the operation but also the comfort of the patient. Many patients return from the operating room with endotracheal tubes still in place, ventilated by machines, and monitored with such special equipment as Swan-Ganz catheters for observation of cardiac output, oxygenation, and level of hydration.

During the postoperative period, alteration in respiratory status is a major potential problem for patients having thoracic surgery. Impaired gas exchange can result from atelectasis, pneumothorax, mediastinal shift, bronchopulmonary fistula, pneumonia, pleural effusion, pulmonary edema, narcotics, or abdominal distention. To identify any change in respiratory status, the patient's arterial blood gases are serially monitored, breath sounds are auscultated, and the rate and character of respirations are assessed. To facilitate removal of obstructive mucus and other secretions in the air passages the patient is encouraged to deep breathe and cough every one to two hours. Chest physical therapy may be ordered to help mobilize the secretions so that they are more easily coughed up. The amount and character of sputum is noted and recorded. If necessary, nasotracheal suctioning may be done to help clear the air passages. Oxygen may be administered to prevent anoxia.

The patient is also periodically assessed for pain, abdominal distention, and alteration in cardiac function related to decreased cardiac output, arrhythmias, or cardiac tamponade. If the pericardial sac becomes filled with fluid and produces an acute cardiac tamponade, an emergency pericardiocentesis may be necessary.

Almost all patients having thoracic surgery will have chest tubes. (One exception is the patient who has had a lung removed. In this case fluid is deliberately allowed to accumulate in the pleural space to prevent mediastinal shift.) Chest tubes are attached to closed drainage systems to avoid pneumothorax and allow for drainage of the pleural space and gradual reexpansion of the lung. (See chest tube for care.)

As the operative site heals and the lung expands, the chest tubes can be safely removed. After their removal an airtight bandage is applied to the area. As a precaution against leakage of air into the chest cavity, the physician may apply petrolatum to the edges of the wound before applying the dressing.

tho·rac·ic

(thō-ras'ik),
Relating to the thorax.
Synonym(s): thoracal

thoracic

/tho·rac·ic/ (thah-ras´ik) pectoral; pertaining to the thorax (chest).

thoracic

(thə-răs′ĭk)
adj.
Of, relating to, or situated in or near the thorax: the thoracic vertebrae; thoracic appendages.

tho·rac′i·cal·ly adv.

thoracic

See thorax.

thoracic

adjective Pertaining to the chest.

thoracic

 adjective Pertaining to the chest

tho·rac·ic

(thōr-as'ik)
Relating to the thorax.

thoracic

Pertaining to the chest.

Thoracic

Refers to the chest area. The thorax runs between the abdomen and neck and is encased in the ribs.

thoracic (th·raˑ·sik),

adj area of the back between the neck and twelfth rib.

thoracic

pertaining to the chest. See also thoracolumbar.

thoracic asymmetry
if obviously distorted can mean that the flatter side has a collapsed lung. Not a helpful sign in cattle because of the normal asymmetry caused by the rumen.
thoracic breath sounds
breath sounds produced in the bronchi, bronchioles and alveoli by the passage of air; contrast with tracheal breath sounds.
thoracic cage
the bony structure enclosing the thorax, consisting of the ribs, vertebral column and sternum.
thoracic cavity
see thorax; called also chest.
thoracic duct ligation
a surgical procedure used in the treatment of chylothorax where medical management is unsuccessful.
thoracic girdle
the incomplete ring of bones that support the thoracic limb, made up of the scapula, clavicle, coracoid and occasionally other elements. Mammals have no coracoids (except in monotremes) and nongrasping animals have no clavicle so that the girdle consists only of the scapula. Grasping or climbing animals have a clavicle. Birds have a complete bony girdle. Called also pectoral girdle.
thoracic inlet
the entrance of the chest between the two first ribs, the manubrium, and the first thoracic vertebra.
thoracic limb
forelimb.
thoracic pain
such as that caused by broken ribs, torn intercostal muscles, pleurisy can cause a grunt at the end of each inspiration.
thoracic peristaltic sounds
can be of assistance in diagnosing diaphragmatic hernia in a dog or cat but they occur commonly in normal horses and cattle.
thoracic positioner
a sterilizable M-shaped metal trough which can be laid on an operating table and an animal propped up in it for surgery.
thoracic respiration
the diaphragm and abdominal muscles remain immobilized and play little part in respiration, as in peritonitis with diaphragmatic hernia.
thoracic segmental spinal cord degeneration
characteristic lesion in the inherited disease merino degenerative axonopathy.
thoracic surgery
surgical procedures involving entrance into the chest cavity. Until techniques for endotracheal anesthesia were perfected, this type of surgery was extremely dangerous because of the possibility of lung collapse. By administering anesthesia under pressure through an endotracheal tube it is now possible to keep one or both lungs expanded, even when they are subjected to atmospheric pressure.
thoracic symmetry
lack of symmetry between the two sides, viewed from above, can suggest lung collapse or a space-occupying lesion on the smaller side; in ruminants the presence of the rumen always enhances the size of the left side.
thoracic tube
see chest tube.
thoracic vertebrae
the vertebrae between the cervical and lumbar vertebrae, giving attachment to the ribs and forming part of the dorsal wall of the thorax.
thoracic wall
includes the ribs, sternum and thoracic vertebrae, the intercostal, superficial and deep, muscles, and the external respiratory muscles (transverse thoracic, rectus thoracic, serratus dorsalis and scalenus), and the costal pleura.
thoracic wall flap
a surgical approach to the thoracic cavity that combines an intercostal incision and sternotomy. It allows great exposure to structures of the cranial mediastinum and caudal cervical region.
thoracic wall wound
penetration through to the pleural cavity results in pneumothorax and collapse of the lung on that side.

Patient discussion about thoracic

Q. My mother had a chest pain and she was sent for a TEE. When do you need a TEE and when a normal echo is fine? My mother had a chest pain few weeks ago. we were sure its a heart attack and went to the ER. There the doctors did some tests and she was sent for a (trans thoracic echocardiogram) TEE. I want to know when do you need a TEE and when you can do just a normal echocardiogram because the TEE was very painful for her and we want to know if ther was a better way.

A. The main difference between TEE and normal echo is that in TEE u put the transducer directly in the esophagus. The transducer is the same and the idea is to put it as close as possible to the heart.
As far as I know there are some heart situations the TEE is better for diagnosis that normal echo. Maybe your mom had one of those situations?
I can recommend you to ask the ER doctor. he will probably be able to give a better explanation for his choice

More discussions about thoracic