OBJECTIVE The objective of our article is to analyse the results of intrathoracic transposition of the serratus anterior (SA) muscle flap for suppurative diseases. METHOD We performed a retrospective analysis of 65 consecutive patients operated upon in our unit between 1 January 2003 and 1 March 2009 in whom we used intrathoracic transposition of the SA muscle flap. The flap was used alone or in association with other flaps and/or thoracoplasty in patients not amenable to lung resection and/or decortication, including tuberculous (TB) lesions in 30 patients (46%), postoperative empyema in 12 patients (18%), frank intrapleural rupture of a pulmonary cavity in 13 patients (20%) and bronchial fistula(e) in 26 patients (40%). Many patients presented a combination of the afore-mentioned anatomo-clinical characteristics. The SA was used alone in 16 patients (25%) and in combination with other flaps in 49 patients (75%). In most cases (62 patients, 95%), the flap was mobilised using both the thoracodorsal branch and the lateral thoracic vessels. Associated limited rib resection was performed with an average of 4.9±1.6 resected ribs per patient. RESULTS In general, mortality was 5% (three patients) and other two patients (3%) presented recurrence of the intrathoracic infection requiring re-operation; minor local complications were encountered in three patients (skin necrosis--two cases and external thoracic fistula--one case). Postoperative hospitalisation ranged between 4 and 172 days, with a median of 34 days. We encountered a mild impairment of shoulder mobility in five patients, but no case of true-winged scapula. Analysis of the pre- and postoperative values of the vital capacity (VC) and forced expiratory volume in 1s (FEV1) showed no statistically significant difference (paired t test -p>0.05). CONCLUSIONS The SA muscle flap is very well suited for intrathoracic transposition. Its use is not associated with significant postoperative morbidity.