Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

At Yale Thoracic Surgery, our surgeons offer expertise in dealing with thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). The thoracic outlet is the area of the body where important blood vessels and nerves leave the chest and extend out on the underside of the arms. This space is generally a relatively tight space. The cause of TOS is usually anatomic and due to the alignment or misalignment of the muscles and bones in thoracic outlet that makes this space tighter. Depending on where the tightness is greatest, patients may have problems either related to a compressed nerve or compressed vein. Treatment of TOS involves removal of the first rib and release of the muscular attachments. This operation is usually performed in conjunction with either the expert vascular surgeons or the neurosurgeons within Yale, depending upon whether the veins or nerves are simultaneously involved.

The thoracic surgery practice encompasses all aspects of your chest health including diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care. Our internationally renowned surgeons work as part of a multidisciplinary team to provide the best diagnostic and treatment options for TOS. As faculty of the Yale School of Medicine Department of Surgery, they are continually redefining standards of care through their comprehensive skill, innovative procedures, ongoing research, and the application of evidence-based medicine.

Our surgeons are highly skilled at performing even the most advanced surgical techniques for both common and complex conditions. At Yale Thoracic Surgery, we know that the surgical process can feel intimidating. Our surgeons will walk you through the process, step by step, so that you understand the procedure and feel comfortable with your treatment options.