What is a thymectomy surgery?

Thymectomy is the surgical removal of the thymus gland, which is located just under the breast bone. It is an effective treatment for people who have myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disorder, or thymoma, a tumor of the thymus gland.

Why is thymectomy done for hyperparathyroidism?

When a patient with primary hyperparathyroidism has 3 normal parathyroid glands identified and an inferior parathyroid gland remains that has not been identified in its normal anatomic position, a transcervical thymectomy should be performed because this is the most common location for an ectopic parathyroid gland.

Where is the incision for a thymectomy?

Transcervical thymectomy: In this procedure the incision is made across the lower part of the neck, just above the breastbone (sternum). The surgeon removes the thymus through this incision without dividing the sternum.

Why would you remove the thymus gland?

Thymectomy is one of the main treatment methods for myasthenia gravis. It is a surgical procedure where the thymus gland is removed to stop the production of autoantibodies that mistakenly attack the muscle-nerve connections in myasthenia gravis patients.

How many hours does thymectomy surgery take?

A thymectomy will typically take 1 to 3 hours to complete. This procedure is typically performed in the cardiothoracic operating room (OR). Check with your doctor about the details of your procedure. Our thoracic surgeons are able to offer the robotic approach.

Can you live without your thymus gland?

A person can live without their thymus gland, but the effects of not having a thymus depend on how old the person was when it was removed.

What is the recovery time for a thymectomy?

The recovery time depends on the type of surgery. It may take 1 to 2 weeks or as long as 3 months. Physical activity will be limited during this time. You will need to delay return to work.

Should I have my thymus removed?

It is active until puberty and then shrinks away so that only fatty tissue remains in adulthood. After puberty, the thymus does not play an important role and removing it does not result in any ill-effects or any problems with the immune system.

What happens if your thymus gland is removed?

If you had your thymus gland removed as a child, you could have an increased risk of developing autoimmune thyroid disease as well as other health problems later in life.

Does a thymectomy make you immunocompromised?

The human thymus is required for establishment of the T cell pool in fetal life, but postnatal thymectomy does not lead to immunodeficiency in humans.

How does thymectomy help myasthenia gravis?

Thymectomy, the surgical removal of the thymus gland (which often is abnormal in individuals with myasthenia gravis), reduces symptoms in some individuals without thymoma and may cure some people, possibly by re-balancing the immune system. Thymectomy is recommended for individuals with thymoma.

How long is thymectomy surgery?

The procedure takes around two to three hours, and is carried out under general anesthetic. Once the procedure is completed, most patients will have a hospital stay of between one and three days.

What is the removal of the thymus gland?

The thymus is a gland located in the chest area that helps the immune system develop. A thymectomy is the removal of the thymus gland. The thymus may be removed as a treatment of Myasthenia Gravis in the hope of increasing the chance of remission (absence of symptoms and no need of medication) from the disease.

What is the thymus gland surgery?

The most common surgery for thymus tumors is complete removal of the thymus gland (including any tumor). This is called a thymectomy. In most cases the surgery is done through a median sternotomy. This is an incision (cut) down the middle of the chest that splits the sternum (breast bone) and allows the whole thymus and tumor to be removed.