Thymusectomy for myasthenia gravis

On December 13, doctor Ngo Bao Khoa (Head of Cardiothoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Department, Xuyen A Tay Ninh Hospital), said that the patient began to stutter, could not speak clearly, could feel his limbs. sluggishness, difficulty moving, often difficulty swallowing, choking in the neck, more than a month ago. These symptoms are becoming more and more obvious. The patient went to several places and was later diagnosed with myasthenia gravis.

CT scan results showed that the patient had a residual tumor on the thymus. Therefore, in addition to using medical treatment drugs, the patient is assigned to remove the thymus tumor – the most effective treatment method for this disease, according to Doctor Khoa.

In order to minimize the risk that the patient may have respiratory muscle weakness due to previous myasthenic sequelae, the surgical team has calculated the anesthesia to be sufficient for the surgeon to operate and limit the impact on the patient’s health. respiratory muscles. The patient underwent complete resection of the thymus tumor and complete resection of residual thymus tissue.

The patient is now recovering from the operation, the voice is clear, stronger, no longer weak in limbs, can eat, even swallow solid foods. He will continue medical treatment for myasthenia gravis, progressing to reducing or stopping the medication altogether.

Doctors operate on a patient on December 7. Photo: Hospital provides

Myasthenia gravis is a rare disease with an annual incidence of about 2-6 people per 100,000 population. The onset of the disease is at any age, usually between the ages of 20 and 30 in women, over 50 in men, and 10% in children under 10 years of age.

This is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease. The cause of the disease is a decrease in the number of acetylcholine receptors (necessary for muscle contraction) at the neuromuscular junction, due to the production of antibodies against acetylcholine receptors, thereby leading to disturbances in conduction. neuromuscular. Myasthenia gravis is associated with abnormalities of the T-lymphocytes of the thymus (located in the chest, below the neck area, just behind the breastbone) when the gland does not clear up on its own in adulthood as it normally does. 75% of people with myasthenia gravis have thymic abnormalities, of which 65% are overgrowth, and 10% are thymic tumors.

Myasthenia gravis progresses in different stages, weakening individual muscles and then “invading” all muscles. If the facial muscles are weak, the patient cannot express emotions. Muscle weakness in the eyes causes drooping eyelids causing the eyes to close small, blurred vision, double vision. Weakness in pharyngeal muscles will cause difficulty swallowing, difficulty speaking, drooling, wheezing. Weak muscles in the extremities make it difficult for the patient to walk, change positions, and move. In particular, if the respiratory muscles are involved, the patient has difficulty breathing, respiratory failure, which can lead to death if not treated promptly…

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