Generally, the operative procedures for the diagnosis or treatment of mediastinal, intrathoracic and/or chest wall lesions requiring rib resection are performed under general anesthesia. Although evidence suggests that thoracoscopy can be performed under local anesthesia, no report has indicated that some major thoracic procedures can be accomplished without general anesthesia. In our study, we advocate that certain surgical procedures could be performed under local anesthesia with a performance similar to that of general anesthesia. Thirty patients underwent thoracic procedures with local anesthesia and sedation for diagnosis and treatment. Seventeen of the patients were men, and the mean age of the patients was 49.6 years (range 16 to 71 years). There were 13 diagnostic procedures, and 17 procedures were for treatment purposes. The operative procedures performed using only local anesthesia were mini-thoracotomy (n=9), mediastinotomy (n=4), revision of a full-thickness posterolateral thoracic incision (n=7), resection of the chondroma (n=4), Eloesser flap (n=1), metastasectomy of the chest wall (n=3), empyectomy (n=1), and video-assisted thoracoscopy (n=2). Severity of pain was evaluated by VAS. There were no oral or intravenous analgesic requirements in the early postoperative period. No complications attributable to the procedure were observed. Thoracic surgical procedures for diagnosis and treatment performed under local anesthesia are simple, effective, economical and comfortable for the patient.