Robotic-Assisted First Rib Resection: Our Experience and Review of the Literature

Publication Date


Journal Title

Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg


© 2020 Elsevier Inc. Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) comprises a constellation of signs and symptoms that arise from neurologic and vascular compression of the brachial plexus and subclavian vasculature, respectively. Surgical decompression of the neurovascular structures is often indicated to alleviate TOS. We report here our robotic surgical approach and experience for resection of the first rib. Between July 2014 and January 2017, 17 patients who underwent robotic-assisted first rib resection at our institution were reviewed. Nine women and 8 men with a mean age of 45 ± 11 years had a robotic-assisted first rib resection; 8 for neurogenic TOS and 9 for venous TOS. There were no complications or conversion to open surgery. The mean operative time was 113.2 ± 55.3 minutes. Length of stay was a mean of 1.8 ± 1.9 days. Length of rib resected was 5.8 ± 0.5 cm. Anticoagulation for the venous TOS cohort was Xarelto, for a mean of 5.1 ± 1.8 months. Short-term follow-up (mean 10.3 ± 4.9 days) revealed resolution of symptoms in all patients, with patent vasculature on venogram for the entire venous TOS cohort. Further follow-up at 2 months and 6 months revealed that all patients remained symptom free. Based on our institution's experience with the robotic-assisted approach to first rib resection, we feel that it is a feasible approach that could be added to the armamentarium of the thoracic surgeon.

Document Type



Faculty; Northwell Researcher; Northwell Resident


School of Medicine; Northwell Health

Primary Department

Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery






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