Patients with various thymic cancers and about 15% of patients with myasthenia gravis due to a tumor on the thymus (typically benign) are candidates for thymic resection, or thymectomy. Myasthenia gravis patients must first be treated by a neurologist who will likely recommend surgical removal.
Prior to surgery, your doctor may recommend:
Thymectomy is done under general anesthesia and is usually performed through one of three surgical approaches:
Depending on the patient’s condition and surgeon’s approach, thymic resection or thymectomy typically takes between 1-3 hours.
After your procedure is complete, you will be kept in the hospital recovery room and monitored for complications. As your anesthesia wears off, you will be given medication to manage pain.
Typically, you will remain in the hospital for post-op care and supervision for 1-3 days. Once you return home, the recovery may take as little as 1-2 weeks or as long as 3 months. Recovery time depends on the patient and the surgical approach used.
Myasthenia Gravis Patients
Regaining muscle strength may take several months to a few years. After surgery, your neurologist will work with you to identify the balance of therapy and medication to achieve the most rapid and optimal results as possible.