Open Chest Surgery

Numerous conditions develop where surgery requires opening the chest cavity.  They include:

  • Lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Injuries
  • Cancer
Dr. Leadbeater performing a surgical procedure

Open chest surgery raises the stakes somewhat from other surgeries because once the chest is opened the patient can no longer breathe on their own.  This is because when atmospheric pressure enters the cavity, the lungs cannot expand as they would naturally.  During any open chest surgery the key requirement is to have an experienced anesthetist on the surgical team.  This person has to work in careful concert with the surgeon.  He or she has the critical role of  expanding the lung with positive pressure oxygen, which includes the gas anesthetic.  This is because the lungs cannot be allowed to expand at the time the surgeon has sharp instruments in the chest cavity.  The working area around the heart and lungs can be limited, and requires a very experienced surgeron with a delicate but confident approach.

Following the completion of the surgery, the chest wall is closed and steps are taken to ensure the patient quickly begins breathing on their own.  The patient is carefully monitored during the recovery period.

Dr. Leadbeater has done hundreds of open chest surgeries over his 30 year career.  His surgical skills show in his ability to choose the best people for his team, his caring and calm demeanor, and his concern for post-surgical care and follow up.