Home About TB TB History Human Impact Timeline People Profiles Sanatorium Age Preventing TB Finding TB Treating TB International TB Today Index

  Treatments of Tuberculosis


There was a time when chest surgery was a last resort, an attempt to snatch the patient from the grave. When the first thoracoplasties were done, both surgeon and patient were holding their breath hoping and praying that the patient would survive the operation and eventually be up and around again. This was in the days of thoracoplasty, which operation did not go inside the chest cavity. In Canada, the first thoracoplasty was performed by Archibald in 1912, at Montreal.

 Bed Rest

Thoracoplasty refers to the surgical removal of several rib bones from the chest wall in order to collapse a lung. In the time that this surgery was commonplace, the average patient required the removal of 7-8 ribs. Most surgeons preferred to remove only 2-3 ribs at a time and thus patients had to endure several procedures before the entire thoracoplasty was finished. The picture and xray above, both taken after a thoracoplasty, show the deformity that results from removal of rib for lung compression.

Thoracoplasty was transferred to a secondary place in surgical treatment when the idea of cutting out (resecting) the diseased part of the lung was proposed, and became obsolete in Canada by the start of the 1960s.