Robotic paravertebral schwannoma resection at extreme locations of the thoracic cavity

Giacomo Pacchiarotti, Michael Y. Wang, John Paul G. Kolcun, Ken Hsuan Kan Chang, Motasem Al Maaieh, Victor S. Reis, Dao M. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Solitary paravertebral schwannomas in the thoracic spine and lacking an intraspinal component are uncommon. These benign nerve sheath tumors are typically treated using complete resection with an excellent outcome. Resection of these tumors is achieved by an anterior approach via open thoracotomy or minimally invasive thoracoscopy, by a posterior approach via laminectomy, or by a combination of both approaches. These tumors most commonly occur in the midthoracic region, for which surgical removal is usually straightforward. The authors of this report describe 2 cases of paravertebral schwannoma at extreme locations of the posterior mediastinum, one at the superior sulcus and the other at the inferior sulcus of the thoracic cavity, for which the usual surgical approaches for safe resection can be challenging. The tumors were completely resected with robot-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. This report suggests that single-stage anterior surgery for this type of tumor in extreme locations is safe and effective with this novel minimally invasive technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE17
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2017


  • Da Vinci robot
  • Paravertebral schwannoma
  • Posterior mediastinal neurogenic tumor
  • Robotic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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