eISSN: 1897-4252
ISSN: 1731-5530
Kardiochirurgia i Torakochirurgia Polska/Polish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
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vol. 17
Letter to the Editor

Robotic-assisted thoracoscopic resection of an anterior mediastinal vascular malformation

Georgios Geropoulos
Konstantinos Kapriniotis
Sofoklis Mitsos
Emily Joslin
Michael Klimatsidas
Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos

Thoracic Surgery Department, University College London Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom
Cellular Pathology Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust, Harlow, Essex, United Kingdom
Department of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery, St Luke’s Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
Kardiochir Torakochir Pol 2020; 17 (4): 210-211
Online publish date: 2021/01/15
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The mediastinum is defined as the space between the two lungs. Among the abnormal masses that have been described in the mediastinum, thymomas, teratomas and lymphomas are the most common ones. Vascular abnormalities are rarely reported in the mediastinum [1].
A 49-year-old female patient was admitted electively to the thoracic surgery department for management of an anterior mediastinal mass. The patient had a history of bilateral mastectomy 23 years ago for a breast lump. Following her regular follow-up, approximately 6 months ago a chest X-ray showed a shadow right of the sternum. Computed tomography (CT) showed a 48 × 37 × 35 mm superior anterior mediastinal mass just to the right of the midline and abutting the superior vena cava and the aortic arch, highlighting the lesion as highly suspicious for thymoma (Figure 1). A small central calcific focus was also noted. No other significant findings were described. A second CT scan showed that the findings were stable and a decision for a robotic assisted surgical excision was made. Under general anaesthesia and the patient in supine position slightly titled on the left a 12 mm camera port was inserted in the right anterior axillary line in the 5th intercostal space. CO2 insufflation was done. A second 8 mm port was inserted parasternally for the monopolar incisors. Another 8 mm port was inserted under the axilla 5–6 cm anteriorly for the bipolar grasper. Finally an assisting 12 mm port was inserted onto the 10th intercostal space anterior to the mid axillary line for the suction-irrigation device and the introduction of swabs. The lesion was identified as per CT findings and it was extremely vascular on its surface. As there was a vascular communication between the mass itself, the superior vena cava and the innominate vein, the neck of the mass was transected with an endoscopic vascular stapler. The mass was removed with an EndoBag. Careful haemostasis was performed and a 28 French drain was inserted. The lung was fully expanded, and the patient was discharged on the first postoperative day. Histological examination confirmed that the lesion was a vascular malformation (Figure 2). Vascular abnormalities are rarely seen in the mediastinum and their incidence is thought to approximate less than 0.5% of mediastinal masses [2]. From a histological point of view, cavernous and capillary haemangiomas account for more than 90% of mediastinal abnormalities and in general only 0.8%...

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