Surgical management of growing teratoma syndrome: robotic-assisted thoracoscopic resection of mediastinal teratoma



Growing teratoma syndrome is a rare condition defined by the presence of enlarging metastatic lesions on serial imaging that arise after or during systemic chemotherapy for nonseminomatous germ cell tumors. Lesions commonly occur in the retroperitoneum, mediastinum, or lung and are notoriously unresponsive to conventional chemoradiotherapy.


In this study, we present a dynamic case of a 26-year-old male, who had undergone surgical resection and systemic bleomycin treatment for a metastatic nonseminomatous germ cell tumor, and later developed recurrent masses in his posterior mediastinum seen on surveillance imaging. Tumor markers remained normal. These lesions were resected via a right robot-assisted thoracoscopic approach with the da Vinci Xi®.


The operation was completed successfully with an unremarkable postoperative hospital course. The robotic-assisted right thoracoscopic approach allowed for a minimally invasive dissection with good visualization and minimal morbidity when compared to previous cases of surgically resected mediastinal teratomas. Final pathology demonstrated mature teratomatous elements within a setting of inflammation and necrosis.


Robot-assisted thoracoscopic management of metastatic mediastinal lesions in the setting of this rare condition is safe and feasible.

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Correspondence to Nathaniel R. Evans III.

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Drs. Evans, Palazzo, O’Malley, Devin, and Zheng have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Zheng, R., Devin, C.L., O’Malley, T. et al. Surgical management of growing teratoma syndrome: robotic-assisted thoracoscopic resection of mediastinal teratoma. Surg Endosc 34, 1019–1023 (2020).

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  • Growing teratoma syndrome
  • Xi robot
  • Germ cell tumor
  • Metastatic disease