A 6-cm-diameter schwannoma located at T-2 was resected completely by using transthoracic microsurgical endoscopy. The partially cystic tumor widened the neural foramen and extended into the apex of the right thoracic cavity but did not extend intradurally. The tumor was accessed by means of three 15-mm incisions made in the intercostal spaces. The operative blood loss was only 200 ml, and there were no complications. The patient was discharged on the 2nd postoperative day and returned to full activity 1 week after surgery.
Thoracoscopy provides an excellent alternative to thoracotomy for peripheral thoracic nerve sheath tumors that originate within the neural foramen or more distally along the intercostal nerves within the thorax. An anterior approach is required for intrathoracic tumors but is not suited for intradural tumors. An open posterior or posterolateral approach to the thoracic spine is required for intradural tumors to allow the dura to be closed adequately.