U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A member asked:

Should i get my thymus removed to treat my myasthenia gravis? i dont have a tumor in it, but my doctor says its a little enlarged and he wants to take it out. ive read that if you take out your thymus you get another disease because you lose the hormon

4 doctor answers18 doctors weighed in
Dr. Herbert Krob
Neurology 30 years experience
This : This is a great question. The thymus is an organ in the chest that plays a role in the immune system. Thymectomy, surgical removal of that organ, has been used for many years to treat myasthenia gravis. Most myasthenia experts feel that removal of the thymus is very important in getting control of the disease the national institute of neurological disorders and stroke is conducting a study to determine if thymectomy is truly as effective as believed. The study seeks to recruit about 150 adults at 50 sites throughout the United States and other countries. Recruitment will continue through 2012. To get more information about the study and about myasthenia gravis, go to the website of the myasthenia gravis foundation of america at www.Myasthenia.Org
Dr. Simon Fishman
Neurology 27 years experience
Thymus : Thymus removal is an effective treatment for myasthenia control in young women. The thymus plays a role in the maturation of the immune system. Under normal circumstances, this gland becomes inactive after puberty. In certain cases, like mysasthenia, it can continue to make antibodies that target the area between the muscles and the nerves. Removal of the thymus often leads to remission but symptoms can return even in those women who have a thymectomy. In general, considering the long term outlook, young women with enlarged thymus glands who have a thymectomy do "better" than those who don't.
Dr. Loki Skylizard
Thoracic Surgery 21 years experience
Probably: In appropriate candidates, thymectomy should be performed by a trained thoracic surgeon. These links may assist: http://goo.Gl/3xxmd and http://goo.Gl/qpvoqk and http://goo.Gl/ynnbao.
Dr. Loki Skylizard
Thoracic Surgery 21 years experience
Provided original answer
"...a thymectomy is frequently recommended for patients under the age of 60 (occasionally older) with moderate to severe MG weakness. It is sometimes recommended for patients with relatively mild weakness, especially if there is weakness of the respiratory (breathing) or oropharyngeal (swallowing) muscles. It is also recommended for all patients with a thymoma..."
Oct 1, 2013
Dr. Creighton Wright
surgery 57 years experience
Likely YES: Depends on any other significant risk factorsw! the operation is generally well tolerated in the chosen folks and with careful preparation and care.
Dr. John Chiu
Dr. John Chiu commented
Allergy and Immunology 58 years experience
If you don't have a thymoma, get a 2nd opinion.
Sep 28, 2013
Dr. Loki Skylizard
Thoracic Surgery 21 years experience
"...A thymectomy is frequently recommended for patients under the age of 60 (occasionally older) with moderate to severe MG weakness. It is sometimes recommended for patients with relatively mild weakness, especially if there is weakness of the respiratory (breathing) or oropharyngeal (swallowing) muscles. It is also recommended for all patients with a thymoma..."
Oct 1, 2013

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership
Last updated Nov 27, 2017

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.