Thoracoscopic thymectomy with partial superior vena cava resection for locally advanced thymomas

Ning Xu, Zhitao Gu, Chunyu Ji, Xuefei Zhang, Tangbing Chen, Wentao Fang


Background: Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is now increasingly used for the treatment of early stage thymic malignancies. However, VATS has not been advocated for patients with locally advanced diseases. We reviewed our initial experience in VATS thymectomy with partial superior vena cava (SVC) resection for IASLC/ITMIG stage III thymic tumors.
Methods: From August 2017 to October 2018, patients who underwent VATS thymectomy with partial SVC resection were retrospectively reviewed, and peri-operative outcomes and short-term follow-up results were analyzing.
Results: Four patients with partial SVC resection via VATS were identified. All of them had pathologically confirmed IASLC/ITMIG stage III thymic tumors invading the SVC. The average of operative time was 228 minutes and mean blood loss was 88 mL. The mean duration of chest tube drainage and post-operative hospital stay were 4.5 and 7.3 days respectively. No major complication was encountered after surgery. No mortality was observed. And no recurrence was detected with the longest follow-up time of 14 months.
Conclusions: With careful patient selection and plenty surgical expertise, VATS thymectomy for locally invasive thymic tumors with limited the SVC invasion is challenging yet technically feasible.