Original Article| Volume 36, ISSUE 10, P3806-3813, October 2022

Perioperative Management of Patients With Myasthenia Gravis Undergoing Robotic-Assisted Thymectomy—A Retrospective Analysis and Clinical Evaluation


      Postoperative myasthenic crisis with respiratory failure is a potentially lethal complication, warranting careful perioperative planning and extended postoperative surveillance of patients. Data on the incidence of postoperative respiratory failure and optimal management of patients after robotic-assisted thymectomy are limited.
      The objective of this study was to evaluate the incidence of respiratory complications and the need for intensive care unit (ICU) capacities after robotic-assisted thymectomy in patients with myasthenia gravis.


      Retrospective cohort study.


      Single University hospital in Vienna, Austria, from January 2014 to December 2019.


      The authors included adult patients who underwent robotic-assisted thymectomy due to myasthenia gravis.

      Main Results

      Of 72 patients, 4 patients (5.6%) developed postoperative respiratory failure, needing noninvasive ventilation/intubation. Respiratory failure occurred within the first hours after extubation when patients still were under surveillance in the recovery room or in the ICU. One patient (1.4%) suffered from worsened myasthenic symptoms several days after surgery, and was treated with plasmapheresis. Sixty-five patients (90.3%) were extubated in the operating room, 35 of these (48.6%) were transferred to the ICU, and 30 patients (41.7%) primarily were transferred to the recovery room. Fourteen patients (19.4%) were transferred to the surgical ward after extended observation in the recovery room. Furthermore, after implementation of a standardized perioperative algorithm in 2020, a reduction of ICU admissions was achieved.


      After careful patient selection, planning, and postoperative patient evaluation, robotic-assisted thymectomy can be performed safely without postoperative surveillance in an ICU.

      Key Words

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