Article Abstract

Endoscopic thymectomy: a neurologist’s perspective

Authors: Roberta Ricciardi, Franca Melfi, Michelangelo Maestri, Anna De Rosa, Afroditi Petsa, Marco Lucchi, Alfredo Mussi

Abstract

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by the presence of antibodies interacting at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), resulting in loss of strength and severe exhaustibility of striated muscles. The abnormal production of these antibodies is triggered mainly in the thymus, and hence thymectomy in MG is considered a universally recommended treatment in order to improve the symptomatologic condition of this pathology. Currently, minimally invasive thymectomy using the Da Vinci robot system is certainly one of the most innovative techniques, performed in Pisa since 2001. This approach provides a valuable alternative to the traditional thymectomy through median sternotomy. The contribution of a neurologist is fundamental for preoperative patient selection and for the peri-operative clinical assistance in both approaches. We believe that in the robotic approach, the multidisciplinary collaboration between the neurologist, thoracic surgeon and anesthetist is important in reducing perioperative complications and ensuring a higher rate of complete remission or stable clinical improvement of MG.

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