Thymic minimally invasive surgery: state of the art across the world: Central-South America
Literature suggests that, for thymectomy in myasthenia or resection of thymic tumors, minimally invasive surgery is equivalent to open surgery with regard to long-term outcomes. However, it could bring some benefits in the immediate results as complication rate or length-of-stay. There are doubts about the worldwide adoption of the method, though. In Latin America, the implementation of video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) started in the 1990s, but it progressed slowly. The main barriers were associated costs and training. Thymic surgery poses a bigger challenge due to its rarity, so just a few reports mention the use of the method in the region. Nonetheless, in recent years we observe a faster dissemination of the method both in number and in complexity of the procedures performed. Confirming this fact, half of the patients registered in the Brazilian Society of Thoracic Surgery database in the last 2 years as undergoing resection of thymic tumors, underwent a minimally invasive procedure. Although promising, robotic surgery is still in its early days in Latin America.