Thoracoplasty. Part 1.

  • Videos
  • Online

Available online

Public Domain Mark

You can use this work for any purpose without restriction under copyright law. Read more about this licence.


Thoracoplasty. Part 1. Public Domain Mark. Source: Wellcome Collection.

About this work


First of two films recording a surgical thoracoplasty (the removal of ribs) to treat scoliosis. 3 segments.


England, 1937.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (16.52 min.) : silent, black and white.



Copyright note

Copyright previously held by British Medical Association and assigned to Wellcome in 2005

Terms of use

Public Domain Mark


Segment 1 The intertitles explain that there are three stages to this operation, and describe the stages in detail. Following details of the operation, the male patient is anaesthetised. Saline is administered through the rectum. A tambour for measuring blood pressure is attached to his leg. The patient lies face down on the bed. The first stage of surgery begins. An incision is made in the patient's back. The intercostal nerves are injected. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:05:24:04 Length: 00:05:24:04
Segment 2 The periosteum is separated from the 2nd and 3rd ribs. 12cm of the 3rd rib is removed. The whole of the 2nd rib is removed. The 1st rib is exposed and removed. Time start: 00:05:24:04 Time end: 00:10:16:19 Length: 00:04:52:15
Segment 3 The divided cartilage, the large blood vessels and the brachial plexus are shown. The 2nd and 3rd transverse processes are removed, with their attached rib segments. 12cm of the 4th rib and transverse process are removed. The wound is closed and a drainage tube is inserted for 24 hours. Rectal saline is administered. Elastic straps are attached to specific places on the patient, and the patient must lie in a certain position to prevent the development of scoliosis. X-rays of before the surgery and after the first stage of surgery are shown. Time start: 00:10:16:19 Time end: 00:16:52:03 Length: 00:06:35:09

Creator/production credits

Produced by Hugh Morriston Davies

Permanent link