Adaptation of median partial sternotomy in head and neck surgery

Thomas Shpitzer*, Milton Saute, Hanna Gilat, Eyal Raveh, Ilan Koren, Jacob Shvero, Gideon Bahar, Raphael Feinmesser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Upper mediastinum involvement in diseases of the head and neck may require a sternal split. This study describes our adaptation of the upper median or "minimal" sternotomy technique for the treatment of head and neck pathologies. Between April 2002 and October 2005, 17 patients aged 4 to 82 years underwent minimal sternotomy in our institution for a variety of head and neck pathologies. The 17 patients included 11 adults with metastatic thyroid disease (six metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma, two medullary carcinoma, and one Hürthle cell carcinoma) and huge retrosternal goiter (n = 2), four adults with parathyroid disease (two primary parathyroid adenoma, one secondary hyperplasia, and one parathyroid carcinoma), and two children with lymphangioma and huge thymic cyst (one each). Average hospitalization was 8 days. Four patients needed a thoracic drain for 2 days, one had recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy, and one had phrenic nerve paresis. There were no postoperative deaths. Minimal sternotomy appears to be an excellent alternative for surgical exploration of the mediastinum and may be used in head and neck surgery for a range of indications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1275-1278
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007


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