Comparison of open and minimally invasive thymectomies at a single institution
ABSTRACT Most thymectomies are performed via sternotomy. Minimally invasive thymectomy (MIT) has been described but its potential benefits and drawbacks remain unclear.
A retrospective chart review comparing thymectomies performed via sternotomy to MIT at a single institution between 2005 and 2009.
Eight patients underwent MIT and 8 patients underwent sternotomy in the management of myasthenia gravis, thymic hyperplasia, or small thymic tumors. There was 1 perioperative death unrelated to the surgical procedure and no morbidity. The surgical time, estimated blood loss, and chest tube output was similar in both groups. The average hospital stay for MIT was 2.4 days compared with 4.3 days for sternotomy. One MIT patient remained on narcotic pain medication 2 weeks after surgery compared with 6 in the open group.
MIT can be performed with similar morbidity and efficacy as transsternal thymectomy. Patients require fewer narcotics and can be discharged earlier.
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ABSTRACT: A best evidence topic in thoracic surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was how video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) compares to median sternotomy in the surgical management of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG)? Overall 74 papers were found using the reported search, of which 15 represented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The authors, journal, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes and results are tabulated. We conclude that VATS produces equivalent postoperative mortality and complete stable remission (CSR) rates, with superior results in terms of hospital stay, operative blood loss and patient satisfaction at the expense of a doubling of operative time. Six studies comparing VATS and transsternal sternotomy in non-thymomatous myasthenia gravis (NTMG) patients found VATS to have lower operative blood loss (73.8±70.7 vs. 155.3±91.7 ml; P<0.05), reduced total hospital stay (5.6±2.2 vs. 8.1±3.0 days; P=0.008), whilst maintaining equivalent remission rates (33 vs. 44.7%; P=0.16) and mass of thymic tissue resection (37 vs. 34 g; P>0.05). One study comparing video-assisted thoracoscopic extended thymectomy to transsternal thymectomy in only thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis (T-MG) patients found equivalent CSR (11.3 vs. 8.7%, P=0.1090) at six-year follow-up. Thymoma recurrence rate (9.64%) was not significantly different (P=0.1523) between the two groups. Eight studies comparing VATS and transsternal approach in mixed T-MG and NTMG patients found a lower hospital stay (1.9±2.6 vs. 4.6±4.2 days, P<0.001), reduced need for postoperative medication (76.5 vs. 35.7%, P=0.022), lower intensive care unit stay (1.5 vs. 3.2 days, P=0.018), greater symptom improvement (100 vs. 77.9%, P=0.019) and better cosmetic satisfaction (100 vs. 83, P=0.042) with VATS. In concordance with NTMG and T-MG alone patient groups, VATS and transsternal methods had equivalent complication rates (23 vs. 19%, P=0.765) with no mortalities in either group. Even though VATS has a longer operative time (268±51 vs. 177±92 min, P<0.05), its improved cosmesis, reduced need for postoperative medication and equivalent disease resolution outcomes make it a preferable surgical option to the transsternal approach.Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery 10/2010; 12(1):40-6. DOI:10.1510/icvts.2010.251041 · 1.11 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a debilitating disease which necessitates long-term medical therapy. If left untreated, it can have a high mortality rate. The commonest variety in children, the autoimmune variety, often requires recourse to immunomodulation including prolonged usage of high-dose steroids. Thymectomy has not been a popular option among treating clinicians. There is evidence to suggest that if thymectomy is performed early in the disease, it has a high success rate in reducing the doses of the oral steroid medication and also in inducing remission of the disease. We have performed video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) thymectomy in four patients with the autoimmune variety of MG. In this study, we have had a fair and comparable success rate as with the other adult series. On the basis of this preliminary study, we recommend that the option of VATS thymectomy should be offered to select patients of MG.Pediatric Surgery International 03/2011; 27(6):595-8. DOI:10.1007/s00383-010-2838-4 · 1.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Unilateral robotic thymectomy is gaining popularity. Identifying the contralateral phrenic nerve is a key limitation to achieving maximal thymic tissue resection. We evaluated the feasibility and technique of fluorescence imaging on the daVinci-Si robot (Intuitive Surgical Inc, Sunnyvale, CA) to identify the contralateral periocardiophrenic neurovascular bundle (PNB). A unilateral right robotic thymectomy was performed in 10 patients. The thymus and its poles were mobilized. Indocyanine green was injected and fluoresced to identify the left PNB in four different viewing angles to assess the view that consistently positively identified the PNB. No complications from indocyanine green or injuries to the phrenic nerve occurred. The contralateral PNB was visualized in 80% of patients from a left pleural view, infrequently from a mediastinal view, and never distal to the aortopulmonary window. During right robotic thymectomy, fluorescence imaging facilitates identification of the contralateral phrenic nerve by fluorescing the pericardiophrenic vessels. It is best visualized from a left pleural view. This technology has the potential to maximize thymic tissue resection with a unilateral approach while reducing operative time and nerve injury.The Annals of thoracic surgery 08/2012; 94(2):622-5. DOI:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.04.119 · 3.65 Impact Factor