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A 53-year-old male asked:

Why do surgeons go through the chest to do surgery on the spine?

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kathleen Mullane
Internal Medicine 32 years experience
Anterior approach: Whether the surgeon goes in through the back or through the chest, front of the neck or abdomen depends upon where the spinal problem resides. Your surgeon will do scans to determine where the problem resides and then he will have to make a decision of what is the best and safest way for him to approach the issue.
Dr. Peter Ihle
Orthopedic Surgery 54 years experience
Anterior 4 T-spine: 2 get 2 the t-spine 4 front approach they need 2 go thru the chest. Very hard to get 2 anterior t-spine pathology from a posterior approach.
Dr. Creighton Wright
General Surgery 56 years experience
Varies: Some done posterior-back. If the disc or spine problem is toward the front, the anterior neck, or chest, or abdominal approach is very helpful to get good exposure.
Dr. Kevin Vaught
Neurosurgery 28 years experience
Depends: There are numerous approaches to the spine. Typically, the chosen approach is determined by the location of the pathology and the safest approach to deal with it.

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Last updated Jun 9, 2015

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