[The comparative analysis of video-assisted thoracoscopic versus transsternal thymectomy for myasthenia gravis]

Yun-feng Zhang, Shan Ma, Jian-ye Li, Lei Yu, Hai-feng Zhang
Zhonghua Wai Ke za Zhi [Chinese Journal of Surgery] 2009 March 1, 47 (5): 366-8

OBJECTIVE: To investigate different characteristics of the video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) versus transsternal thymectomy for myasthenia gravis (MG).

METHODS: The clinical data of 106 patients who underwent VATS thymectomy for MG between February 2002 and May 2007, and 108 patients who underwent transsternal thymectomy between March 1998 and August 2003 were analyzed retrospectively. In VATS group, there were 64 male and 42 female patients, and the mean age was 38-years-old. In the transsternal group, 68 patients were male and 40 were female, and the mean age was 36-years-old. Analysis of conditions related to the surgical procedure between two groups was made, such as length of surgery, operative bleeding, postoperative drainage, hospital stay, hospitalization expenses and complications. The mean time of follow-up was 38.5 months (ranging from 10 to 67 months). All patients were classified according to the MGFA clinical classification.

RESULTS: Intraoperative bleeding in VATS group was (34 +/- 5) ml, significantly less than (150 +/- 23) ml in the transsternal group. Postoperative drainage in VATS group was (42 +/- 18) ml, significantly less than (168 +/- 31) ml in the transsternal group. Complications and hospital stay in VATS group were also significantly lower than those in the transsternal group. There was no significantly different in the long-term outcome between two groups.

CONCLUSION: Although both thoracoscopic and transsternal approaches to thymectomy in patients with MG are effective after the long-term follow-up, VATS thymectomy has its specific advantages of minimal invasion, less complications, and rapid recovery.

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