From January 1989 to December 1993 at the Institute of Clinical Surgery of the University of Perugia, 5 patients were under observation for penetrating chest injuries. Two of them had show-wounds, one a slash, one a stabbing and slash and one a cutting blow. One of the patients with shot-wounds died on the operating table from a haemorrhage while the other was saved by surgery. One patient successfully underwent surgery for loss of tissue in the thorax walls. Another had a mini-thoracotomy plus lung suture which were successful. Finally, in the patient with a slash in the front region of the thorax and a slight pneumothorax, we inserted a chest thorax tube and so obtained a complete re-expansion of the lung. Total mortality was 20%. Surgical exploration of the thorax we believe is necessary wherever there is a risk of haemorrhage or possible lung damage requiring only surgery. According to many authors, video-thoracoscopy has the advantage of a reliable diagnosis and above all, enable us to repair lung wounds without opening the thorax. In one of our patients we could have avoided the mini-thoracotomy and used thoracoscopy to repair the lung damage.