Thymectomy

Thymectomy

Robotic Removal of the Thymus Gland(Thymectomy)

We have Indias largest experience in surgical removal of thymus gland (Thymectomy) using the state-of-art da Vinci Surgical Robot. This procedure requires only a few small incisions, which avoid a sternotomy (large incision that separates chest bone) and get back to your life earlier and with much better quality of life compared to open surgery.

Surgical Removal of Thymus Gland

We have Indias largest experience in surgical removal of thymus gland (Thymectomy) using the state-of-art da Vinci Surgical Robot.

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Thymus Gland

Thymus is a gland located in the middle of upper chest between the sternum (Breast Bone) and heart and possibly because of its central location in the upper chest between the lungs and next to the heart, ancient Greeks thought it might be the seat of the soul or the emotions.It wasnt until 1961 that medical science began to understand the actual functions of the thymus and its crucial relationship to the early development of the immune system.

In effect the thymus is the school for T-cells. T-cells (T-lymphocytes, where the T is for thymus) along with similar B-cells produced in bone marrow are a critical component of the bodys immune system. Each T-cell carries molecular receptors, something like locks for unique keys that match a specific foreign substance known as an antigen. If a T-cell lock meets its antigen key, it captures and kills it. This is how the body fights the invasion of antigens such as viruses, bacteria, certain poisons and anything else recognized by T-cells. The thymus is the organ that trains the T-cells to do this job.

Thymus Gland Disease

However there are serious autoimmune diseases and cancers that affect the thymus and it is sometimes necessary to remove the organ in a procedure called a thymectomy. Fortunately, for all practical purposes removal of the thymus from an adult has minimal effect on the immune system.

The most common reasons for a thymectomy are related to:-

  • Myasthenia gravis (MG), an autoimmune disease that causes abnormal muscle fatigue. People with Myasthenia Gravis typically have little energy and suffer from weak, droopy or quickly tiring muscles. For example one or more sagging eyelids are often symptomatic of Myasthenia Gravis.
  • Thymoma, a cancer of the internal surface cells of the thymus.

Approximately 10 to 15 percent of patients with Myasthenia Gravis will have a Thymoma. About 30% of those patients diagnosed with a Thymoma will have Myasthenia Gravis.

Thymoma is a type of cancer that begins in the thymus. Often, the distinction between a benign and a malignant thymoma is made during the actual surgery by assessing the degree to which the thymoma has invaded surrounding structures. Many patients with a thymoma are asymptomatic.

The treatment of thymoma with or without Myasthenia Gravis is complete removal of the thymus with the mass. Surgical approaches to removing a thymoma include a median sternotomy, clamshell incision and more recently Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS). The minimally invasive VATS procedure is reserved for early stage tumors. As experience with the daVinci robot is gained, a minimally invasive robotic approach to thymoma is considered appropriate for early stage lesions.

Should preoperative studies indicate that the lesion is invasive or malignant, surgeons will not attempt removal using minimally invasive techniques.
Early-stage thymoma cases are commonly treated with a thymectomy. Later stage thymomas and especially malignant thymoma are typically treated with chemotherapy or radiation, which may be followed by thymectomy.

Thymus Gland Disease

However there are serious autoimmune diseases and cancers that affect the thymus and it is sometimes necessary to remove the organ in a procedure called a thymectomy. Fortunately, for all practical purposes removal of the thymus from an adult has minimal effect on the immune system.

The most common reasons for a thymectomy are related to:-

  • Myasthenia gravis (MG), an autoimmune disease that causes abnormal muscle fatigue. People with Myasthenia Gravis typically have little energy and suffer from weak, droopy or quickly tiring muscles. For example one or more sagging eyelids are often symptomatic of Myasthenia Gravis.
  • Thymoma, a cancer of the internal surface cells of the thymus.

Approximately 10 to 15 percent of patients with Myasthenia Gravis will have a Thymoma. About 30% of those patients diagnosed with a Thymoma will have Myasthenia Gravis.

Thymoma is a type of cancer that begins in the thymus. Often, the distinction between a benign and a malignant thymoma is made during the actual surgery by assessing the degree to which the thymoma has invaded surrounding structures. Many patients with a thymoma are asymptomatic.

The treatment of thymoma with or without Myasthenia Gravis is complete removal of the thymus with the mass. Surgical approaches to removing a thymoma include a median sternotomy, clamshell incision and more recently Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS). The minimally invasive VATS procedure is reserved for early stage tumors. As experience with the daVinci robot is gained, a minimally invasive robotic approach to thymoma is considered appropriate for early stage lesions.

Should preoperative studies indicate that the lesion is invasive or malignant, surgeons will not attempt removal using minimally invasive techniques.
Early-stage thymoma cases are commonly treated with thymectomy. Later stage thymomas and especially malignant thymoma are typically treated with chemotherapy or radiation, which may be followed by thymectomy.


Surgical approaches

The Thymus gland is centrally located in the upper body and especially its nearness to the heart, the thymus presents specific challenges for surgery...Read More

Robotic Thymectomy

With the advent of robotic surgery, which is truly minimally invasive one can achieve the effectiveness of a transsternal approach without the...Read More

Advantages to patients

The patient undergoing a robotic-assisted thymectomy, the biggest advantages accrue from the minimally invasive approach and the precision of the internal surgical work...Read More