The role of minimally invasive surgery in the management of giant mediastinal tumors: a narrative review
Maria Rodriguez 1 , Lucia Milla 1 , Jon O Wee 2
Background and objective: Beyond diagnosis, minimally invasive surgery has traditionally not been considered suitable for large tumors, those invading vital structures or high-risk patients. However, with the improvement of multimodality treatments able to reduce tumor size preoperatively, patient evaluation and selection, perioperative care (including both surgical and anesthesiological techniques) and postoperative management, the indications of minimally invasive surgery, even in giant mediastinal tumors, have increased and will continue to broaden in future years. This review aims to summarize the existing literature regarding the role of minimally invasive surgery in the management of giant mediastinal tumors. We have focused in the role minimally invasive surgery has in diagnosis and treatment of these tumors and we have tried to provide an updated perspective to identify future applications and work-directions.
Methods: Data regarding minimally invasive surgery in giant mediastinal tumors are limited, including a proper definition of them. We performed a PubMed search of English and Spanish written studies until August 2021.
Key content and findings: There is limited data related to minimally invasive surgery in giant mediastinal tumors and much of the literature review we have performed has yielded isolated case reports, case series with a low number of cases or editorials. Although the role of minimally invasive surgery is well consolidated as a diagnostic approach, adequate patient selection, hospital volume and experience, multidisciplinary discussion of candidates, patient safety and adequate oncological resection remain the most important aspects to be taken into account when considering a minimally invasive approach for a giant mediastinal tumor.
Conclusions: With careful and multidisciplinary perioperative planning, minimally invasive surgery has shown to be safe and to provide at least similar outcomes when compared to open approaches in well selected cases. Although data is still limited, improved surgical techniques and available technology will pave the way to increased indications of minimally invasive surgery in giant mediastinal tumors.