Thymectomy

Our surgeons are among the few in the country who perform this robot-assisted procedure.

The first option for thymoma treatment often is thymectomy. Thymectomy is surgery to remove the thymus gland, where thymoma tumors start.

Our thoracic cancer surgeons perform traditional, open surgery and minimally invasive thymectomy using robot-assisted surgery. This robot-assisted procedure is only available at a few hospitals across the country. In fact, we’re one of only eight nationally recognized robotic surgery epicenters. Our surgical team teaches doctors across the country how to use these techniques.

Our expertise gives you a wide range of options when it comes to treating your particular thymoma.

What types of thymectomy are available at Henry Ford?

There are two ways to perform a thymectomy:

  • Median sternotomy: In this open surgery, the doctor makes a large incision and splits the breastbone to access the thymus gland. We use this approach for large, complex tumors.
  • Minimally invasive thymectomy: If you have a smaller tumor, you may be a candidate for robotic surgery. This procedure requires only three small incisions between the ribs.

What are the benefits of robot-assisted thymectomy?

Robotic surgery allows our surgeons to operate with extreme precision. The surgeon guides the robotic arms and controls them every step of the way. A high-definition 3-D camera allows the surgeon to see the chest and thymus through the breastbone as if performing an open surgery.

Additional benefits of robot-assisted thymectomy include:

  • Faster recovery
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Small incisions and minimal scarring
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