Population-based requirements for thoracic surgery

L. J. Melton, D. C. McGoon, W. M. O'Fallon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In order to determine the population-based requirement for thoracic surgery, we identified all of the thoracotomies undertaken upon Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents in a 10-year period. There were 674 initial operations and 78 reoperations among 689 residents. The age-adjusted incidence rate for all thoracotomies in the community was 99.6 per 100,000 person-years. Rates generally increased with age and were greater for men, with an age-adjusted male:female ratio of incidence rates of 2.1:1. Age-adjusted rates for urban residents were nearly twice as great as those for rural residents of the county. Sixty percent of the operations were performed for cardiovascular disease, 30% for pulmonary disease, and 10% for all other chest conditions. The incidence of operations for all 3 of these subgroups increased substantially during the 10-year study period. If the Olmsted County experience for 1976-1979 is applied to the 1980 United States population, an estimated 300,000 thoracic operations would be required. The operations could entail the use of nearly 6 million hospital bed-days and over 1 million operating room hours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-737
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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