Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the muscles of the body. MG is caused by a defect in the transmission of nerve impulses to muscles.
The symptoms of MG may include eye muscle weakness, eyelid drooping, blurry or double vision, unstable gait, a change in facial expression, impaired speech, weakness in the arms, hands, fingers, legs, and neck, difficulty in swallowing and shortness of breath
Diagnosis and Treatment
To diagnose your condition, your doctor will review your symptoms, medical history, conduct a physical examination, blood test, electrophysiologic study and check your neurological health. There is no cure for myasthenia gravis, but it is treated with medications and sometimes surgery.
What is the role of the thymus gland in MG?
The thymus gland, which lies in the chest area beneath the breastbone, plays an important role in the development of the immune system in early life. You will need surgery to remove your thymus because removal of the thymus seems to improve symptoms in many patients.
New surgical technique “smaller incision, faster recovery”
MG can be treated by removing the thymus. This has no effect on the immune system. Benefits in removing the thymus reduce the weakness in muscles and help in the full recovery from the illness.
The surgery can be performed using minimally invasive technique which uses several tiny incisions in the chest. A camera is inserted through one of the incisions and the surgery is performed with video guidance. This mean that patients experience less pain and swelling, smaller incision, fewer complications, and a faster recovery.