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Video-assisted and minimally-invasive open chest surgery for the treatment of mediastinal tumors and masses.

This article reviews the anatomy of the mediastinum as well as indications, limitations, techniques, and results of video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and other minimally-invasive open-chest surgery approaches currently used for the surgical management of mediastinal tumors and masses. It is written by two surgeons with vastly different backgrounds and thoracic surgical experience. One of them is young and very familiar with VATS approaches and technologies while the other is a senior surgeon relatively unfamiliar with minimally-invasive techniques. This combination of authorship is ideal to analyze the pros and cons of the use of minimally-invasive approaches for the surgical management of mediastinal lesions such as thymic epithelial tumors (TETs) or neurogenic tumors. This is important because several thoracic surgeons have expressed concerns about the ability of thoracoscopic procedures to maintain adherence to sound oncological principles.

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