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 HOW I DO IT
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 168-172

Technique of the transcervical-subxiphoid-videothoracoscopic maximal thymectomy


1 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Pulmonary Hospital, Zakopane, Poland
2 Department of Pathology, Pulmonary Hospital, Zakopane, Poland
3 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine of Pulmonary Hospital, Zakopane, Poland

Correspondence Address:
Marcin Zielinski
ul. Gladkie 1, 34-500 Zakopane
Poland
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-9941.38911

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Background: The aim of this study is to present the new technique of transcervical-subxiphoid-videothoracoscopic "maximal"thymectomy introduced by the authors of this study for myasthenia gravis. Materials and Methods: Two hundred and sixteen patients with Osserman scores ranging from I-III were operated on from 1/9/2000 to 31/12/2006 for this study. The operation was performed through four incisions: a transverse 5-8 cm incision in the neck, a 4-6 cm subxiphoid incision and two 1 cm incisions for videothoracoscopic (VTS) ports. The cervical part of the procedure was performed with an open technique while the intrathoracic part was performed using a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgical (VATS) technique. The whole thymus with the surrounding fatty tissue containing possible ectopic foci of the thymic tissue was removed. Such an operation can be performed by one surgical team (the one team approach) or by two teams working simultaneously (two team approach). The early and late results as well as the incidence and localization of ectopic thymic foci have been presented in this report. Results: There were 216 patients in this study of which 178 were women and 38 were men. The ages of the patients ranged from 11 to 69 years (mean 29.7 years). The duration of myasthenia was 2-180 months (mean 28.3 months). Osserman scores were in the range of I-III. Almost 27% of the patients were taking steroids or immunosuppressive drugs preoperatively. The mean operative time was 201.5 min (120-330 min) for a one-team approach and it was 146 (95-210 min) for a two-team approach (P < 0.05). While there was no postoperative mortality, the postoperative morbidity was 12%. The incidence of ectopic thymic foci was 68.4%. The rates of complete remission after one, two, three, four and five years of follow-up were 26.3, 36.5, 42.9, 46.8 and 50.2%, respectively. Conclusion: Transcervical-subxiphoid-VTS maximal thymectomy is a complete and highly effective treatment modality for myasthenia gravis. The need for sternotomy is avoided while the completeness of the operation is retained.






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