Robotically enhanced mediastinal teratoma resection: a case report and review of the literature.
OBJECTIVES Although video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is widely used for the resection of a mediastinal mass, it is converted to an open resection in some patients with a mature teratoma because of dense adhesions. We reviewed cases with a mature teratoma removed by VATS and investigated the indications for that procedure for this tumour. METHODS We retrospectively investigated 15 patients with a benign mediastinal mature teratoma who underwent a thoracoscopic procedure. RESULTS The mean tumour diameter was 5.3 cm (range 3.2-8.5). The mean operative time was 188 min (78-430), and intraoperative blood loss was 138 ml (10-450). Thoracoscopic resection was completed in all except 3 patients with larger tumours, which presented the most difficult problems with dissection. Each of those 3 had severe preoperative chest pain and a tumour larger than 5.5 cm. No mortality or postoperative complications were recorded, except for postoperative chylothorax. Tumour recurrence did not develop in any patient during the mean follow-up period of 4.6 years. CONCLUSIONS For selected patients with a mediastinal teratoma, VATS may be considered standard care, as most are benign. In contrast, an open approach may be more appropriate for patients with a large tumour or preoperative symptoms.