Article Abstract

The Zakopane Pulmonary Hospital experience on subxiphoid thymectomy

Authors: Marcin Zieliński, Mariusz Rybak, Katarzyna Solarczyk-Bombik, Michal Wilkojc, Wojciech Czajkowski, Sylweriusz Kosinski, Edward Fryzlewicz, Tomasz Nabialek, Malgorzata Szolkowska, Juliusz Pankowski


Background: To present the technique of minimally invasive extended thymectomy performed through the subxiphoid-bilateral subcostal video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) approach, with double elevation of the sternum for nonthymomatous myasthenia gravis (MG).
Methods: The whole dissection was performed through the 4–7 cm transverse subxiphoid incision with single 10 mm extra-long bariatric laparoscopy ports inserted subcostally to the right and left chest cavities for videothoracoscope and subsequently for chest tubes. The sternum was elevated with two hooks connected to the sternal frame (Rochard bar, Aesculap-Chifa, Nowy Tomysl, Poland). The lower hook was inserted through the subxiphoid incision and the superior hook was inserted percutaneously, after the mediastinal tissue including the major mediastinal vessels were dissected from the inner surface of the sternum. The fatty tissue of the anterior mediastinum and the aorta-pulmonary window was completely removed.
Results: There were 147 patients (62 patients operated on for thymomas, 75 patients for nonthymomatous MG and 10 for rethymectomies) in the period 1.1.2009–30.3.2016. There was no mortality and morbidity. The mean operative time was 109.1 min (range, 75–150 min).
Conclusions: The subxiphoid approach combined with bilateral single port subcostal VATS and double elevation of the sternum enables very extensive thymectomy in case of nonthymomayous MG.