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Vascular Surgery



Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Treatment for thoracic outlet syndrome at Methodist Dallas

What is thoracic outlet syndrome?

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) is a debilitating disorder caused when the neurovascular bundle (nerves, arteries, and/or veins) become compressed at the thoracic outlet — between the clavicle and first rib, or within the scalene muscle triangle (anatomy at the top of the chest cavity).

TOS can be caused by congenital defect or by accident, injury, or repetitive motion, sometimes seen in athletes. 

What are symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome?

Symptoms differ depending on the type of TOS and where it occurs. Thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms can include:

  • Headache 
  • Back pain 
  • Neck pain 
  • Arm pain 
  • Muscle weakness and muscle atrophy 
  • Tingling
  • Cyanosis – bluish hue to the skin due to decreased oxygen in the blood 
  • Edema – swelling caused by excess fluid 
  • Blood clots 
  • Hand numbness 
  • Vein distention – bulging of veins

Treatment options for thoracic outlet syndrome 

Treatment options for TOS include behavioral changes, physical therapy, and surgery.

Three types of TOS surgery:  

  • Minimally invasive percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) 
  • Muscle release 
  • First rib resection 


For more information, or to find a physician who treats thoracic outlet syndrome, call 214-947-0000.

Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System or Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

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Methodist Health System Foundation

P.O. Box 655999 Dallas, Texas 75265-5999  |  1-877-637-4297