Single port video-assisted thoracoscopic thymectomy

Benedetta Bedetti, Pierfiorgio Solli, David Lawrence, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Martin Hayward, Marco Scarci


Over the past decade, video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) has started to replace median sternotomy for the resection of non-invasive anterior mediastinal masses, including thymoma. In fact, many studies confirmed that, compared to standard sternotomy, VATS thymectomy results in less post-operative pain, better preserved pulmonary function, improved cosmesis (which can be particularly important to many young female myasthenia gravis patients) and is oncologically feasible for non-invasive thymomas as long as en bloc resection of the tumour is achieved. Classically three ports are used, but the current trend is to reduce the number of ports and minimize the length of incisions to further decrease postoperative pain, chest wall paraesthesia, and length of hospitalization. Uniportal VATS thymectomy for non-invasive mediastinal tumour resection is proven to be a safe and reliable method. In this paper we describe and illustrate our technique for single port VATS thymectomy.