Study objectives: Although videothoracoscopic (VTS) resection of Masaoka stage I thymoma has been reported to be a less invasive method than open thoracotomy and to achieve a comparable surgical outcome, the usefulness of this method in the treatment of stage II thymoma has not yet been prospectively evaluated. We therefore compared the VTS and open (median sternotomy) methods to see whether VTS resection could be used as successfully to treat stage II thymoma disease.
Design, setting, and patients: Patients (11 women and 11 men) with stage II thymoma were prospectively enrolled between November 1999 and September 2004. Of these, 12 patients (the VTS group) underwent tumor resection using a three-port endoscopic technique, and 10 patients (the open group) underwent tumor excision using a standard sternotomy approach. The diagnosis of all resected thymoma lesions and their stage were confirmed by histopathogic examination.
Measurements and results: Neither group experienced mortality or any major morbidity. The difference in mean age (± SD) between the VTS and open groups (40.2 ± 16.3 years and 47.7 ± 8.5 years, p = 0.202); mean operation time (193.3 ± 79.6 min and 207.5 ± 85.8 min, p = 0.692); mean duration of pleural drainage (4.2 ± 2.1 days and 4.6 ± 2.1 days, p = 0.702); and mean duration of postoperative hospital stay (6.8 ± 2.3 days and 8.9 ± 4.4 days, respectively; p = 0.157) were not statistically significant. However, mean intraoperative blood loss amounts were statistically different (119.2 ± 70.6 mL and 238.5 ± 110.2 mL, respectively; p = 0.006). During the mean follow-up period of 33.9 ± 19.7 months, all patients survived without sign of recurrence, and the mean survival time was not statistically significant (32.3 ± 22.0 months and 35.8 ± 17.5 months, respectively; p = 0.686).
Conclusion: Using careful and skillful technique, the VTS method is an effective treatment of stage II thymoma.