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.