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Rare experience to share - had thoracotomy for vertebrectomy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I've been poking around the site for an hour or so now and it seems like my searches end up with nothing. It looks like I may have a rare surgical experience. Although I can't find anything for my own problem (likely posterior 2nd surgery for remainder of tumor), I am happy to help with your upcoming or recent surgery. If anyone is looking for pre-opp and post-opp advice for thoracotomy or vertebrectomy, feel free to ask away. I can't promise anything other than the support/knowledge based on my own experience.

I found my benign tumor basically by accident/miracle (no severe pain), and the surgery prevented paralysis. Benign is relative... Personally, I feel like I had outstanding surgeons and great hospital care. My post-opp care was slightly lacking, but I can share my difficulties to improve your post-op experience. Also, I had a pre-vertebrectomy embolization (kill the blood supply to a tumor made of blood vessels), so if your weird diagnosis matches mine, I can tell you what to expect.


  • You have had an unusual experience! While there are many of us that have had corpectomies (partial removal of the vertebrae) not too many have had the experience of the complete removal of the entire vertebrael body.

    You tag line says that you still have tumor- what is the plan of care to address that?

    There is a section for thoracic issues on this board, if you haven't found it already I urge you to post your experience there as well. As I'm sure you know thoracic surgeries are rare and you have a lot of wisdom to share!

    Again, welcome!

  • The game plan for the remaining tumor is TBD. If it is still growing in the bad direction (toward the cord) in a few months, my surgeon is planning a posterior approach to clean out what is left. Since I still have the SP and pedicles, I am curious to find out if anyone else had a 360 surgery (in one or two parts) and what bone they were left with. I suppose he could do pedicle based fusion to supplement the body fusion from last year. But then do I need hardware around the cord itself? Probably questions for the surgeon...

    I'll look now for the thoracic posts, but if you could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

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