The treatment of mediastinal cancers depends on the type of tumor and its location:
- Usually treated with resection. Earlier stage tumors need no chemotherapy or radiation. More advanced tumors are treated with preoperative treatment to shrink the tumors before an operation. If the final pathology report shows the thymoma is stage 3w, then post-op chemotherapy and radiation treatment are often recommended.
- Surgery: Traditionally, removal of the thymoma required a median sternotomy (8-inch incision made on the front of the chest). It is the standard incision used for heart surgery. We usually do minimally invasive surgery to remove thymomas 6 cm (2.5 in) or less.
- Are treated with chemotherapy or chemotherapy and radiation.
- The role of surgery is to make a diagnosis by mediastinotomy or mediastinoscopy
- In the posterior (back) mediastinum are treated surgically.
Benefits of minimally invasive surgery for mediastinal tumors
Compared to open surgery, minimally invasive surgery, such as video-assisted thoracoscopy (VATS) mediastinoscopy, offers patients:
- Decreased postoperative pain
- Shorter hospital stay
- More rapid recovery and return to work
Possible complications of minimally invasive surgical treatment include:
- Damage to the surrounding structures ( heart, pericardium (sac around the heart) or nerves (Phrenic or recurrent laryngeal causing hoarseness