The thymus is a fatty organ situated behind the sternum. Its primary function in childhood is the immune modulation of lymphocytes. It may be enlarged and associated with conditions like myasthenia gravis (MG). MG is an auto immune condition where the patients become fatigued easily and in severe cases may result in respiratory distress. Although medications can treat the condition effectively, potential cure can be offered by a total thymectomy.
Conventionally, a total thymectomy is performed by splitting the sternum. With Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS), this can be done with small incisions from the right side of the chest. With a shorter hospital stay, less pain and cosmetically more superior, VATS thymectomy may soon become the standard of care for MG patients.
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