The thymus is a gland located in front of the trachea. Its primary role is during growth when it provides the body with immune cells. It subsequently has no function and decreases in volume until disappearing almost completely in adulthood.
Myasthenia, a disease associated with the thymus, is a neurological disorder that prevents the respiratory muscles from functioning.
Tumors called thymomas can also develop in the thymus, appearing most often between 50 and 60 years of age. Thymomas are rare tumors that range from benign tumors to very aggressive cancers. However, most have a low degree of malignancy.
Surgical treatment for diseases of the thymus
The two main indications for an operation are myasthenia gravis and thymoma. In the case of myasthenia gravis, surgical treatment by resection of the thymus can improve neurological symptoms.
Thymomas are removed surgically. Depending on the type and stage of the tumor, the procedure may be supplemented by radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.