Ramphal, Paul S. ; Irvine, R. W. ; Mitchell, Derek I. G.; Scarlett, Marinna D.; McGaw, Clarence D. ; Fletcher, P. R. ; Spencer, H. W.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Surgery, Radiology, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Thymic Surgery in Jamaica 1992-2000
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
The treatment for thymic tumours and/or myaesthenia gravis (MG) includes thymectomy. Controversy exists as to the optimal timing and operative approach to thymectomy. At the University Hospital of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica, the results of thymic surgery during the period 1992 to 2000 were studied retrospectively. There were 26 patients operated on, 17 females and nine males. Twenty-three underwent thymectomy to treat MG, and three to remove a thymoma. The average age for females was 30.7 years, and 25.1 years for males. Average duration of symptoms prior to surgery was 16 months (all patients), and the interval between diagnosis and referral averaged 2.6 months. All patients underwent thymectomy via median sternotomy with a cervical extension of the incision if required. A policy of phrenic nerve preservation, even if residual tumour was left behind, was followed. Patients with thymomas were given post-operative radiotherapy. Chemotherapy was not given to any patient. The medium and long term results of thymic surgery in a developing country are presented. The results are within international norms, although the small patient population makes statistical analysis difficult. There appears to be no need to change current practice, despite the reported efficacy of less invasive approaches to thymic surgery.....