Thoracic Surgery in Plano, TX

People who have upper back pain or tumors may be well served by thoracic spine surgery. The team at Brain & Spine Center of Texas is practiced in these kinds of procedures and can help you find relief.

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What is the thoracic spine?

The thoracic spine contains 12 vertebrae and is located in the chest region, sometimes called the upper back. The ribs connect to these vertebrae.

What is thoracic spine surgery?

Thoracic spine surgery can encompass an array of procedures, from outpatient techniques to complex tumor removals. When you come in for your consultation at Brain & Spine Center of Texas, our neurosurgeon Dr. Rebecca Stachniak will examine you and explain your options for pain relief.

Why is thoracic spine surgery performed?

It is possible you may require back surgery if you have malignant tumors, broken vertebrae, a herniated disc, or chronic back pain, among other reasons as determined by our Dr. Stachniak.

Types of thoracic spine surgery performed at Brain & Spine Center of Texas


Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure to heal broken vertebrae. During the surgery, a balloon inflates within the fractured bone to restore its original shape. Cement is injected next, so the cavity is filled. In-office recovery lasts an hour, followed by one day’s rest at home.

Thoracic discectomy

Thoracic discectomy involves removing all or part of a herniated disc in the upper back. This surgery used to be challenging due to the location of the vital organs nearby. Today, with new techniques and technology, a tiny endoscope—a lighted tube with a camera—and X-rays enable the surgeon to make small incisions to complete the procedure. The patient usually feels less pain and pressure once the damaged disc is extracted.

Thoracic tumor resection

Many tumors located in the upper back require surgical removal. This procedure, known as thoracic tumor resection, is especially critical if the tumor is malignant or causes problems with balance, walking, or chronic pain. Considerations to decide on a patient’s candidacy for surgery include their health condition, such as the level of malnourishment or stage of cancer, along with the location and size of the tumor.

Spinal cord stimulators

Spinal cord stimulators are devices implanted into a patient to treat chronic pain. Dr. Stachniak will first use other methods of reducing pain, including medications, surgeries, and injections, before turning to the stimulators. They do help lessen pain by up to 50% and increase the mobility of the patients. The device can be controlled by the patient as pain relief is needed, and the battery lasts from two to five years.

Risks of thoracic spine surgery

Besides the risks that all surgeries bring, from blood clots to anesthesia complications, thoracic spinal surgery can yield its own issues. These include cerebrospinal fluid leakage, increased back pain, leakage of orthopedic cement used in kyphoplasty, and allergic reactions to implants.

How to prepare

To prepare for your thoracic spine surgery, you should avoid taking blood thinners and stop smoking. You should also inform your doctor of any allergies, especially to latex, as well as food and medication reactions. Remove all jewelry, makeup, and nail polish before your appointment.

Recovering from thoracic spine surgery

Recovery time varies based on the nature of the procedure and the patient’s health prior to surgery. You may be released the same day as your procedure, or you may need to stay in the hospital for several days. Physical therapy could be part of your recovery program.

Call our neurosurgery center in Plano today to schedule a thoracic spine surgery consultation.