tho·​ra·​cot·​o·​my | \ ˌthȯr-ə-ˈkä-tə-mē How to pronounce thoracotomy (audio) \
plural thoracotomies

Definition of thoracotomy

: surgical incision of the chest wall

Examples of thoracotomy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Reduction of patients having lung surgery requiring a thoracotomy to around 50 percent versus a nationwide percentage of around 90 percent. Cincinnati Enquirer,, "Leading through expertise, innovation: TriHealth performs 15,000th robotic-assisted surgery," 24 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thoracotomy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of thoracotomy

circa 1857, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for thoracotomy

Latin thorac-, thorax + International Scientific Vocabulary -tomy

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Time Traveler for thoracotomy

Time Traveler

The first known use of thoracotomy was circa 1857

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Cite this Entry

“Thoracotomy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for thoracotomy


tho·​ra·​cot·​o·​my | \ ˌthōr-ə-ˈkät-ə-mē, ˌthȯr- How to pronounce thoracotomy (audio) \
plural thoracotomies

Medical Definition of thoracotomy

: surgical incision of the chest wall

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