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Pulmonary Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 418514, 6 pages
Review Article

Thoracomyoplasty in the Treatment of Empyema: Current Indications, Basic Principles, and Results

Surgical Clinic 4, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Târgu Mures, Gh. Marinescu 66/1, Târgu Mures, Romania

Received 4 September 2011; Revised 5 February 2012; Accepted 12 February 2012

Academic Editor: Joseph Friedberg

Copyright © 2012 Petre Vlah-Horea Botianu and Alexandru Mihail Botianu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Empyema remains a challenge for modern medicine. Cases not amenable to lung decortication are particularly difficult to treat, requiring prolonged hospitalizations and mutilating procedures. This paper presents the current role of thoracomyoplasty procedures, which allow complete and definitive obliteration of the infected pleural space by a combination of thoracoplasty and the use of neighbourhood muscle flaps (latissimus dorsi, serratus anterior, pectoralis, rectus abdominis, omentum, etc). Recent publications show an overall rate of success of 90%, with a quick and definitive healing. Although rarely indicated in our days, this kind of procedures remain in the armamentarium of modern thoracic surgery. The importance of thoracomyoplasty derives from the fact that it may be a simple and definitive solution for complicated cases of chronic empyema not amenable to standard decortication.