Purpose: Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) techniques have been widely used for resection of mediastinal tumors. This study investigated the usefulness of the subxiphoid approach in thoracoscopic thymectomy.
Methods: In all, 36 patients with anterior mediastinal tumor underwent thymectomy using the subxiphoid approach in two Japanese institutions. These patients were retrospectively reviewed and analyzed.
Results: There were 16 females and 20 males with a mean age of 57 years. Five patients underwent partial thymectomy (PT), 27 underwent total or subtotal thymectomy, and 4 underwent thymectomy with combined resection (CR) of the surrounding organs or tissues. The mean maximum tumor diameter, amount of resected tissue, and blood loss were 4.1 cm, 72.5 g, and 20.6 g, respectively. More than half of tumors were diagnosed as thymoma (n = 19). The operation time was prolonged with a greater volume of thymectomy. The duration of chest tube drainage and postoperative stay were 1.7 ± 1.0 days and 5.9 ± 7.6 days, respectively. Four patients suffered intraoperative and postoperative complications, as follows: bleeding of the innominate vein, bleeding of the internal thoracic vein, crisis of myasthenia gravis (MG), pericarditis, and phrenic nerve paralysis. There were no mortalities after surgery.
Conclusion: Subxiphoid thoracoscopic thymectomy might be a safe and useful approach for mediastinal tumors.
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