Thoracoscopic Thymectomy for Myasthenia Gravis: Seven Years of Clinical Experience


Lung Transplantation Research Center, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Masih Daneshvari Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease affecting patients’ quality of life and necessitating long-term medical therapy. The efficacy of thymectomy for treatment of MG has been well established. Although several techniques have been used for thymectomy, there has been controversy over the best method with highest rate of improvement. Herein, we discuss our seven years of clinical experience with thoracoscopic thymectomy for MG. Materials and Methods: We evaluated all patients who were operated on with preoperative diagnosis of non-thymomatous MG from 2007 to 2013 in Masih Daneshvari Hospital (Tehran, Iran). All patients underwent thoracoscopic thymectomy, and rates of remission and cumulative improvement were compared to those reported by other studies. Results: Thoracoscopic thymectomy was performed in 34 patients with MG. The rate of complete remission and cumulative improvement at the end of the third year was 44.1% and 85.3%, respectively. Patients who were operated early after the diagnosis showed higher improvement rate, although it was not statistically significant (P=0.065). Conclusion: Thoracoscopic thymectomy is a safe procedure for treatment of MG with comparable results to other techniques. Thymectomy soon after the diagnosis may be associated with higher improvement rate.