PHOENIX (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) – In the clinical experience of Dr. Joshua R. Sonett, VATS thymectomy for myasthenia gravis is best performed in a bilateral thoracoscopic fashion.

In this approach, surgeons do about 95% of the operation on the left side to form a maximal thymectomy, “and finish taking out the specimen on the right side, making sure we can see both phrenic nerves in their entirety,” Dr. Sonett, chief of general thoracic surgery at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, said in a video interview at the annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Although there is no proof to date that thymectomy improves long-term outcomes for patients with myasthenia gravis, results from a large, international trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health are expected to inform clinical practice about this topic, said Dr. Sonett, who is also director of the university’s high-risk lung assessment program.

Dr. Sonett reported having no relevant financial conflicts.