The en bloc thoracotomy was used in twelve dogs and was given acetylpromazine and thiopental sodium. An endotracheal tube was inserted and the automatic minirespirator Narcomatic with intermittent positive pressure was used. Thoracic wall was openned with an first incision approximately 4 to 5cm lateral to the dorsal midline and two additional dorsoventral incisions were made at right angles to the original, joing it at each end to form and inverted U. The cranial incision over the 4th interspace, extended ventrally to a point of costochondral junction and the caudal dorsoventral incision was made over the 9th interspace and extended ventrally to the costal attachment of the diaphragm. After the soft tissue incision, the ribs 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 were transected and the large block of thoracic wall was retracted ventrally and it provided exposure of the thoracic cavity. The ribs were sutured with stainless steel wire and the remainder of the thoracotomy closure was routine with catgut and polyester twisted fiber. It was re-established negative pressure. The en bloc thoracotomy provided excellent exposure of the thoracic viscera and was not necessary the use of the rib retractors, besides to make easy the surgical manipulation and the exposure of the vertebrae of thoracic vertebral column, with preservation of the ribs.
canine surgery; thoracotomy