Mediastinal parathyroidectomy with the da vinci robotMediastinal parathyroidectomy with the da vinci robot
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Research group
Antwerp Surgical Training, Anatomy and Research Centre (ASTARC)
Thorax - en vaatheelkunde
Publication type
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Innovations : technology & techniques in cardiothoracic & vascular surgery
6(2011):4, p. 262-264
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
University of Antwerp
Mediastinal parathyroid glands are often located in a position which is inaccessible through a cervical approach. Because of the significant morbidity of open surgery, the need for minimal invasive approaches is high. More recently, robotic systems have been introduced to refine the dissection and optimize the view in the mediastinal region. We present two cases. The first case is a 34-year-old woman who was diagnosed with primary hyperparathyroidism. Because a bilateral neck dissection disclosed no parathyroid adenoma, we performed a parathyroid sestamibi scan and computed tomographic scan of neck and mediastinum to look for aberrant parathyroid glands. Both showed a parathyroid adenoma in the mediastinum on the left side. The second case is a 66-year-old man. A sestamibi scan showed a parathyroid adenoma of 3 cm in the superior mediastinum which was confirmed by and computed tomographic scan. In both cases, we performed a parathyroidectomy with the da Vinci robotic system through a left-sided approach. Three thoracoports were inserted around the mammary gland for the robot and a fourth auxiliary port was positioned in between. Single-lung ventilation was installed, and the mediastinum was entered by opening the parietal pleura along the left phrenic nerve. The upper margin for dissection was the left brachiocephalic vein that was followed until the right pleura. All the tissue in front of the pericardium was dissected en bloc. The sinking test of the nodule and a preoperative frozen section analysis confirmed the diagnosis of parathyroid adenoma, which was also proven by rapid parathyroid hormone analysis. The resection of a parathyroid adenoma from the aortopulmonary window represents an ideal case for robotic surgery.