Minimally invasive surgery has replaced median sternotomy for resectable anterior mediastinal masses and is performed by various approaches. We developed a new minimally invasive surgical procedure by combining the subxiphoid approach performed through a midline camera port with the use of a robotic surgery system (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA, USA). A 3-cm transverse incision was made 1 cm below the xiphoid process. Then, a port designed for single-port surgery was inserted. Through this port, CO2 gas was injected at 8 mmHg. The thymus was then detached from the back of the sternum. A 1-cm skin incision was made bilaterally in the sixth intercostal space, followed by insertion of a port for the robotic system. A camera port was inserted into the subxiphoid port, to which the camera scope was mounted, and thymectomy was performed. We have performed the operation in 3 patients. In our experience, this procedure provides a good operative view in the neck region and makes verification of the phrenic nerve easy. Furthermore, with the da Vinci surgical system, which enables surgical manipulation from a correct angle due to the multijoint robotic arms, trans-subxiphoid robotic thymectomy may be a promising new thymectomy procedure.
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