Thymectomy for myasthenia gravis: Video-assisted versus transsternal

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Background/Purpose: Thymectomy may benefit patients with generalized myasthenia gravis (MG) or myasthenia with thymomas. Currently, video-assisted (VA) thoracic surgery is popular and plays an important role in thymectomy. We compared the clinical outcomes of VA thymectomy with conventional transsternal (TS) approach to investigate the effectiveness of VA technology in the current era. Methods: A retrospective review of our thymectomy results for patients with MG from 1998 to 2011 was conducted. A total of 83 consecutive patients were enrolled. According to the surgeons' and patients' preference, 39 patients received conventional TS thymectomy and 44 were operated on in a VA fashion. The results were categorized and analyzed according to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) postintervention statuses with some modification. Results: No obvious difference between conventional TS thymectomy and VA thymectomy was noted regarding the remission statuses and the clinical outcomes by the modified MGFA score. However, the patients who received VA thymectomy showed shorter intensive care unit (ICU) stays (4.2±3.3 days vs. 2.3±1.5 days, p=0.001). Conclusion: Compared with the conventional TS thymectomy, the VA approach is similarly effective with shorter ICU stays.




Lo, C. M., Lu, H. I., Hsieh, M. J., Lee, S. S., & Chang, J. P. (2014). Thymectomy for myasthenia gravis: Video-assisted versus transsternal. Journal of the Formosan Medical Association, 113(10), 722–726.

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