We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Of Balloon Axilloscopy and Avoidance of latrogenic Injury to the Long Thoracic Nerve

Claire Wilmot, MB, ChB; Shalom Watemberg, MD; Ofer Landau, MD; Demetrius Litwin, MD
Arch Surg. 1997;132(10):1121-1124. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430340075012.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Background:  Laparoscopic removal of axillary lymph nodes is possible and affords an excellent view of all structures, allowing preservation of vessels and nerves. The technique uses pediatric trocars and a lifting device to maintain the newly created axillary space.

Objective:  To prove that a newly developed technique of balloon axilloscopy can be performed using only one 10-mm and two 5-mm standard trocars and constant carbon dioxide flow to preserve the axillary space and that preservation of all nerves and vessels is possible with this approach.

Design:  Prospective study on 4 fresh-frozen human cadavers and 7 live porcine models.

Setting:  A hospital department of minimal surgery access and a university department of anatomy.

Results:  The balloon dissection consistently revealed and preserved the nerves and vessels, and exposure and dissection of the first rib could similarly be accomplished. An alternative route to the apex of the axilla has been developed—between the pectoralis minor and pectoralis major muscles—after their careful separation. The axillary content of surgical interest (lymph nodes) is easily separated from the other anatomical elements and is simply dissected under complete visualization and preservation of all vital axillary structures.

Conclusions:  Balloon axilloscopy was easy to perform, provided the surgeon with constant visualization of vital anatomical structures, and allowed easy separation and dissection of the axillary lymph nodes and the first rib. As a technical aid prior to a conventional axillary dissection, or as part of a pure endoscopic procedure in the axilla, balloon axilloscopy is 100% reliable in identifying the long thoracic nerve and moving it out of the way, separating the lymph nodes from it and from the intercostobrachial nerve and axillary vein and artery, rendering the whole dissection process safer for both the surgeon and the patient.Arch Surg. 1997;132:1121-1124


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.