BACKGROUND: The Maastricht University Medical Center+ is a Dutch center of expertise appointed by the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centers for the treatment of thymomas. The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term oncologic, surgical, and neurologic outcomes of all patients who underwent a robotic thymectomy for a thymoma at Maastricht University Medical Center+.

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the clinical-pathologic data of all consecutive patients with a thymoma who underwent robotic thymectomy using the DaVinci robotic system at Maastricht University Medical Center+ between April 2004 and December 2018. Follow-up data were collected from 60 referring Dutch hospitals.

RESULTS: In total, 398 robotic thymectomies were performed, and 130 thymomas (32.7%) were found. Median follow-up time was 46 months; median procedure time, 116 minutes; and median hospitalization time, 3 days. In 8.4% of patients, a conversion was performed, and in 20.8%, a complication was registered. The majority of myasthenic patients with a thymoma went into remission, mostly within 12 to 24 months after thymectomy (81%). No statistical difference was found in the number of complications, conversions, incomplete resections, or deaths between patients with myasthenia gravis and nonmyasthenic patients. Thirty-six patients (27.7%) underwent postoperative radiotherapy. The recurrence rate was 9.1%, and the 5-year thymoma-related survival rate was 96.6%.

CONCLUSIONS: Robotic thymectomy was found to be safe and feasible for early stage thymomas, most advanced-stage thymomas, and thymomatous myasthenia gravis. A national guideline could contribute to the improvement of the oncologic follow-up of thymic epithelial tumors in the Netherlands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1886-1894
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
Early online date1 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

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