Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on stanfordhealthcare.org. We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) Thymectomy This approach allows surgeons to remove small thymomas with the same operation within the chest that is performed by thymectomy, but it is done through three to four small incisions rather than the large incision that a sternotomy entails. The surgeon gains a view inside the chest from a small video camera inserted through one of the small incisions, and the procedure is carried out with long instruments passed through the other small incisions. Patients who have undergone VATS sternotomy have less pain and recover faster from surgery.
Robotic Thymectomy Robotic thymectomy is done with small incisions similar to VATS thymectomy, but with perhaps a bit more maneuverability of the operating instruments that some surgeons prefer. The surgical instruments extend from the arms of the robot. The arms are guided by your surgeon from a bedside console that allows the surgeon to visualize the inside of your chest and guide the robotic movements with his/her own hands. Postoperative discomfort and recovery should be similar to after VATS thymectomy.