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Daniel Nelson, MD
Daniel Nelson, MD, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 258
Experience:  Licensed MD. Mayo Clinic Rochester trained physician in Internal Medicine - Critical Care Medicine.
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can you live without your thymus

Customer Question

im afraid to have this done because of the immunity factor involved. Would this cause more problems having it removed?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Daniel Nelson, MD replied 9 years ago.

You can live just fine without the thymus. In fact, for certain autoimmune diseases, thymectomy is one of the primary treatments. Other tissues in the body can take over some of the immune workload that the thymus carries out, but in adults it generally doesn't play a major role in NORMAL immune function. Some physicians will provide immunisations for certain conditions in patients who undergo thymectomy. I do not usually do this routinely unless the person has significant travel to certain regions with endemic infections that are of concern (e.g. Yellow Fevre).

Following your adolescent years, the thymus really doesn't do all that much for the immune system, hence my minimalist approach to immunisations. You can do just fine without the thymus, that's the botXXXXX XXXXXne.

I am curious, why are you having a thymectomy? Do you have Myaesthenia Gravis or Thymoma?

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