Video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) for recurrent thymoma
Between 10-30% of patients that undergo a radical operation for thymoma develop a recurrence in a variable range of time. The surgical treatment of thymoma relapses is an established and effective therapeutic approach, particularly for a single intrathoracic recurrence; however, no agreement has been reached on the best surgical approach and the extent of surgical resection, particularly in the most common event of pleural relapses. In the era of minimally invasive approach for most thoracic pathologies, the role of video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) approach for thymoma recurrence resection is still unclear and controversial: to date, only few authors have reported in their series a thoracoscopic resection of pleuro-pulmonary relapses, mostly when a single lesion was present. Furthermore, a thoracoscopic approach for mediastinal recurrence has been rarely reported after a previous sternotomy to resect the primary tumor. It is likely that in the future the role of VATS for thymic recurrence resection will be better defined and extensively studied.