Article Abstract

VATS thymectomy for early stage thymoma and myasthenia gravis: combined right-sided uniportal and left-sided three-portal approach

Authors: Maurizio Infante, Cristiano Benato, Riccardo Giovannetti, Cinzia Bonadiman, Barbara Canneto, Giovanni Falezza, Alessandro Lonardoni, Paola Gandini


The traditional approach to thymectomy requires median sternotomy based on the assumption that it is the best means to achieve adequate resection margins, complete removal of the thymus and clearance of the anterior mediastinal fat. However, in recent years, VATS thymectomy has been gaining acceptance as a means to achieve adequate oncologic results and symptomatic improvement of myasthenic symptoms with less impact on the patient. We have adopted a flexible approach based on the location of the tumor and on whether the patient has myasthenia gravis (MG) or not when planning minimally invasive VATS thymectomy. A preferential approach from the left side is chosen for clinical stage I–II thymomas located on the left side or on the midline in patients without MG, and a bilateral approach (uniportal VATS on the right side and three-portal VATS on the left side) for MG patients with or without thymoma in order to achieve complete clearance of the anterior mediastinal fat on both sides. Such techniques are herewith clearly illustrated in hope that surgeons wishing to endeavor in such an effort will be facilitated.