View Full Version : Thorocotomy/thorocoscope

03-30-2015, 06:21 PM
Just got the insurance approval/denials and one thing they deemed unnecessary was a thorocotomy. I just looked it up and WTH? Pretty sure he said he was going to minimally invasively do a couple thoracic osteotomies, but I am now FREAKING. Also, bone marrow and partial rib removal. Vertebral resection partial, laminectomy, foraminectomy geeezuuuussssss......... I'm scared out of my mind.

03-30-2015, 11:13 PM
Just got the insurance approval/denials and one thing they deemed unnecessary was a thorocotomy. I just looked it up and WTH? Pretty sure he said he was going to minimally invasively do a couple thoracic osteotomies, but I am now FREAKING. Also, bone marrow and partial rib removal. Vertebral resection partial, laminectomy, foraminectomy geeezuuuussssss......... I'm scared out of my mind.

Cathy... I wouldn't worry yet. Dr. Lonner's office will go to bat for you. I'd be really surprised if they didn't get it approved. Some moron who knows absolutely nothing about surgery for scoliosis decided you don't need all those things. This is a very common occurrence these days.

Good luck.


03-31-2015, 09:45 AM

At some point in preparing for this surgery, I think everybody has a moment when the enormity of this surgery really hits you and you face it. For me it was after one of my early visits with a surgeon I didn't end up using. It just kind of leaves you in shock and it sounds like you are there now. I think this is a healthy part of preparing as it causes you to question your surgeon further and get answers you need. If you haven't already, schedule another appointment and have further discussions. I think I had three pre-op visits with the surgeon I used. They know that as you mentally prepare that you have more questions. Good luck!

04-01-2015, 01:54 AM
The medical terminology......you have to admit, it does sound kinda scary, and much of the terminology seems to end with the suffix “otomy”or “ectomy” Oh man!

Otomy meaning “to cut”.....
Ectomy meaning “to remove”....

That just about sums it up. Otomy and ectomy covers a lot in our world. (smiley face)

The never ending list goes on and on, and if you are going in, chances are your having one of these done.....hopefully its not preceded with the word “laser”, and used in the genital area. Yes, I have had that done, (Laser lithotripsy for kidney stone) and that’s scary. Really scary...... I can laugh about this now, since its over. It really was “Dumb and Dumber” explaining this to my co-workers. “They are doing what, and going where?” (smiley face) I had a lot of laughs, its not elective, but how else do you handle it?

BTW.... Tripsy means “to crush”.......they didn’t want to call it lithocrushy. He he

Anyway, thoracotomies are not usually done for scoliosis surgeries unless your thoracic curves are HUGE, and deformity is severe. I don’t think I have seen anyone post about one here since 2007, so that’s around 8 years. Linda might remember, but I don’t. Severe being well over 100 degrees. Some curves bend right over at 180 degrees like a paperclip. There are some incredible deformity patients out there, and they also get fixed up....(My goddaughter is going to work with Dr Boachie in Ghana in 4 days, I had to throw this in, I couldn’t help it. She is going all the way, pediatrics of course)

Anytime they operate through tubes, that spares a lot of pain, and the procedures I have had done using these minimally invasive procedures had little pain....I was quite surprised in how well they turned out. It sounds like your osteotomies could be done with this procedure in your thoracic, if that’s what Dr L has mentioned to you. These “cuts” are for your sagittal correction looking from the side. Many scolis have osteotomies done.

Cages are used after your discs are removed. (discectomy) These are metal or plastic and replace your worn out discs. I have 5 plastic ones in my lower spine. Since discs can actually cause pain, this eliminates this pain producing problem.

Bone grows in spots around our spines that needs removal for nerves to function. After my surgeon removed all this bone with various “ectomy” procedures, it made room for my nerves to function correctly and eliminated all my pain. I felt this immediately after my surgeries, but did have surgical pain from the incisions. This is helped with the powerful meds that they use in the hospital, the IV and injectable meds like morphine, dialuid, and lortab. These are the ticket since they work well.

We are all scared to death about all of this stuff, it is a lot to absorb that’s for sure. I think that since we get to a point when we really need surgery or surgeries, we have to think about a few things.....I personally needed my surgeries really bad since I waited too long.....I couldn’t go on. Pain leveraged my decision in that there was no way I could back out. It had to be done. I made my decision. Bravery is needed, that’s for sure. Our goal is to get over this hump in the road, its never an easy thing, yes it hurts, but you do recover and hopefully things turn out ok. With todays procedures and training, our surgeons do quite well at improving our situations, our outcomes and recovery depend on their expertise, AND, AND, AND our positive attitudes and adaptability.

I have always had to think ahead at my job, planning for the future. This is also an advantage in surgery thinking ahead, and never looking back. You walk through a one way door, and enter a new chapter. I never looked back and thought “I shouldn’t have done this”. It was always “I’m going to get through this”. I thought to myself right after my surgeries, “I will never be able to reach my feet ever again” but that was all wrong, and all the negative assumptions were just my mind getting in the way, jamming things up. Its called stress......

Stress is a killer. Period. I’ve been exposed to extreme amounts of stress, and its usually not my fault. It doesn’t matter where it comes from or who’s fault it is, it has to be dealt with on your own terms. Most or many of these times I would remove myself from the situation by simply taking a walk outside to gather my thoughts. Some of my anxiety before my scoliosis surgeries were dealt with by running and breathing. Breathing in deep is important, and it works well.

Focus on your goal with realistic expectations......most of the best things in life take effort, we all know this....

Your going to do fine! Put your trust in your surgeon and surgical team. They do this stuff everyday!


04-01-2015, 10:51 AM
I think I read your post four times....

Yes, osteotomies thru minimally invasive thoroscopic blah blah blah. Thanks for the encouragement about that, I think it' scares me the most.

I have so many GREAT pairs of boots, most are pull on - I'm glad to know I will be, might be, able to reach them next winter?!

One week from right now I will be in surgery

04-01-2015, 11:26 PM
I think I read your post four times....

Hmmm......Third times the charm, I don’t know about four....I guess its just a charm and one more. (smiley face)

You will be 8 months along by next December......That was around the time I started hanging my arms and starting to lean over with one foot on a step stool. Up until that point I was using open back clogs ......they are so much easier to deal with. Most of the time I didn’t bother with the socks...

Remember the BLT’s NO bending, No lifting, and No twisting for a long time. You will feel very stiff, tall, and sore......

Its not the procedure you have to worry about, it’s the first few weeks which can be dreadful. Percoset and Oxy are so nasty.......and they plug you up.

If I had only 2 things to pick for recovery, it would be a latex foam topper 2-4 inches thick for the top of the bed, and 2 bottles of Magnesium Citrate just in case.

Get your meds now and leave them at home. You don’t need them in the hospital.

And which hospital is this happening at? I used to run around NYC back in the day....


04-02-2015, 10:28 AM
NO BLT - I have three grabbers already. My only worry is that I am CONSTANTLY picking up stuff off the floor - like my Ragdoll cat's furballs that he sheds a LOT.

I don't wear shoes during the summer and if I can get into boots other than UGGS by December I'm a happy camper.

I am getting a hospital bed to put in my house, and I already told hubby if it's too hard, to take the memory foam topper off my son's bed - he's in college anyway and spoiled rotten =)

I have Senekot, Miralax, Pericolace and Colace at the ready. I emailed my Dr.s office for info regarding home meds - they haven't gotten back to me yet, I hope they do it soon, I'd like to be READY.

I wish I knew what the DAY OF is going to be like - aren't I supposed to shower with that icky soap? I did for a few knee surgeries.

I will be at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital downtown. I think it's like 16th and First? That general area.

Last day of school today - I'm skipping out early, cannot face the goodbyes at the bus - love my students :(

04-02-2015, 05:35 PM
Cathy, call me. Seriously. I'd be so happy to talk to you. I can describe it in detail if you'd like. :)

04-02-2015, 11:06 PM
I'll call you either tomorrow or Saturday. Thank you 😍

04-02-2015, 11:56 PM
I wish I knew what the DAY OF is going to be like (
The day of surgery is a day we never forget.....there are many emotions but I think the strongest is the fact that you are giving in, finally giving up the battle. It’s a complete release....

They put an IV in and your out in a few seconds....

That’s it. Your out, no thoughts, no memory, don’t feel anything, like going to sleep.....

That’s the first day.

I was out the second day, on the 3rd, my surgeon woke me for 30 seconds to ask for permission to continue with my second posterior surgery. Amazing what a valve will do.

They woke me around day 5.....

E-mailing your surgeon or surgeons assistant is the best way to get questions answered. I had instructions given to me on what to do, what not to do.