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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 12 Noon (Eastern Time)

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Francis Caputo, MD

  • Vascular Surgeon
  • Department of Vascular Surgery
  • Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute

Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a term used to describe a group of disorders that occur when there is compression, injury, or irritation of the nerves and/or blood vessels (arteries and veins) in the lower neck and upper chest area. Thoracic outlet syndrome is named for the space (the thoracic outlet) between your lower neck and upper chest where this grouping of nerves and blood vessels is found. Please join us to have your questions on thoracic outlet syndrome answered by Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute vascular surgeon, Rebecca Kelso, MD.

Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a term used to describe a group of disorders that occur when there is compression, injury, or irritation of the nerves and/or blood vessels (arteries and veins) in the lower neck and upper chest area. Thoracic outlet syndrome is named for the space (the thoracic outlet) between your lower neck and upper chest where this grouping of nerves and blood vessels is found. Please join us to have your questions on thoracic outlet syndrome answered by Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute vascular surgeon, Rebecca Kelso, MD. The disorders caused by TOS are not well understood. Yet, it is known that when the blood vessels and/or nerves in the tight passageway of the thoracic outlet are abnormally compressed, they become irritated and can cause TOS. Thoracic outlet syndrome can be a result of an extra first rib (cervical rib) or an old fracture of the clavicle (collarbone) that reduces the space for the vessels and nerves. Bony and soft tissue abnormalities are among the many other causes of TOS. Thoracic outlet syndrome affects people of all ages and gender. The condition is common among athletes who participate in sports that require repetitive motions of the arm and shoulder, such as baseball, swimming, volleyball, and other sports. Neurogenic TOS is the most common form of the disorder (95 percent of people with TOS have this form of the disorder) and generally affects middle-aged women. Recent studies have shown that, in general, TOS is more common in women than men, particularly among those with poor muscular development, poor posture or both.

Rebecca Lynn Kelso, MD, is a vascular surgeon in the Department of Vascular Surgery of the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic. She specializes in the treatment of peripheral vascular disease, including endovascular therapy and urgent surgery.A native of Charlotte, NC, Dr. Kelso earned her medical degree at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill. She served her internship and residency in general surgery at the University of Southern California + Los Angeles County (USC+LAC) Hospitals. Following completion of her training in 2006, Dr. Kelso was named Attending Surgeon and Unit Chief with the medical center’s Emergency Surgery Service and Minimally Invasive Surgery Program. She also was an Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at the University of Southern California from 2006 through 2007.While at the USC + LAC Hospitals, Dr. Kelso developed an interest in vascular surgery, and in 2007 came to Cleveland Clinic for advanced subspecialty training as a Clinical Fellow in Vascular Surgery. She completed her fellowship in 2009.

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