eISSN: 2299-0054
ISSN: 1895-4588
Videosurgery and Other Miniinvasive Techniques
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vol. 13
Thoracic surgery
Original paper

Comparative study of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery versus open thymectomy for thymoma and myasthenia gravis

Ezel Erşen, Burcu Kılıç, Hasan Volkan Kara, Mehlika İşcan, İsmail Sarbay, Ahmet Demirkaya, Selim Bakan, Melih Tütüncü, Akif Turna, Kamil Kaynak

Videosurgery Miniinv 2018; 13 (3): 376–382
Online publish date: 2018/05/16
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Thymectomy is the preferred standard treatment in younger non-thymoma patients with myasthenia gravis as well as in patients with early stage thymoma. Total thymectomy by median sternotomy has been the surgical approach since resection of the thymus with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS).

To compare the clinical outcomes of VATS thymectomy with conventional open thymectomy for neoplastic and non-neoplastic thymic diseases.

Material and methods
Forty patients underwent thymectomy between October 2012 and January 2016. Fifteen patients were male and 25 patients were female. The mean age was 40.3 ±17.7 years. Seventeen (55%) patients underwent VATS thymectomy and 23 (45%) patients underwent an open procedure. We retrospectively reviewed the data of the patients and compared these two techniques.

The mean tumor size was 5.17 ±3.2 cm in the thymoma group (VATS 2.5 ±2.4 cm vs. open access 4.7 ±3.7 cm). None of the patients experienced a myasthenic crisis. Conversion to thoracotomy was required in 1 patient in the VATS group due to bleeding from the right internal mammary artery; therefore, the conversion rate was 2.5% among all the patients. No mortality occurred in either group. No significant difference was found in the perioperative blood loss, operative time or pain visual analogue scale scores. On the other hand, regarding postoperative drainage, duration of chest tube drainage and length of hospital stay, VATS thymectomy yielded better results and the differences were significant.

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery thymectomy can be performed for both neoplastic and non-neoplastic thymic diseases with minimal morbidity and mortality.


video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, thymus, myasthenia graves, thymoma, open surgery

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