Experience of sternal secondary closure by means of a titanium fixation system after transverse thoracosternotomy

Tadashi Motomura, Brian A. Bruckner, Saverio La Francesca, Sebastian Mittelhaus, Chuma Chike-Obi, Joel Leon-Becerril, Uy Ngo, Matthias Loebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Sternal dehiscence is a common complication after transverse thoracosternotomy in patients undergoing bilateral sequential lung transplantation (BSLT). These patients can be treated with conservative therapy, but severe dehiscence requires surgical reapproximation and secondary closure of the sternum. Seventy-one cases of patients who underwent BSLT between January 2007 and May 2009 were reviewed retrospectively. Out of 71 patients, the sternum was intact in two cases due to the use of bilateral anterolateral thoracotomy, and a clamshell incision had been utilized in 69 patients. Four patients (6.8%) presented with persistent chest pain with severe sternal dehiscence diagnosed by chest X-ray and/or chest computed tomography, and underwent sternal reapproximation using the Synthes Titanium Sternal Fixation System for longitudinal sternal plating. All four patients had successful sternal realignment and resolution of their preoperative clinical symptoms. No perioperative or postoperative complications were observed. The Synthes Titanium Sternal Fixation System is an appropriate and effective method for internal fixation of the sternum when used for symptomatic severe sternal dehiscence after sequential BSLT via transverse thoracosternotomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E168-E173
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Bilateral lung transplantation
  • Clamshell incision
  • Sternal malunion
  • Sternal reconstruction
  • Transverse thoracosternotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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