Surgical removal of thymoma is the mainstay of treatment for thymomas that can be completely removed.

Patients with stage III and IVa thymoma typically receive chemotherapy prior to surgery, and may receive radiation therapy after surgery. Some patients with stage II thymoma will be recommended to undergo radiation therapy after surgery.

At City of Hope, we offer the following types of surgery for thymoma.

  • Minimally Invasive Robotic Thymectomy: The thymoma and entire thymus gland are removed through small incisions in the side of the chest. Most patients with stage I and some with stage II thymoma are eligible for this treatment, depending on the size of the tumor. Most patients are able to be discharged from the hospital the day after surgery.
  • Thymectomy through sternotomy: This more traditional approach involves dividing the breast bone down the middle of the chest. This is often necessary for large tumors or stage III and IVa tumors invading neighboring organs in the chest.
  • Thymectomy for IVa and Recurrent Thymoma: For advanced or recurrent thymoma, surgical removal of the chest wall lining and tumor may be performed.