Find a doctor
Programs and services
Pregnancy and beyond » CPR and first aid » Doc Talk » Kids/parents » Support groups » Women's Health Center » Professional education »Classes and events
Visiting hours » Parking » Send a gift » Send a card » Privacy statement » Joint Commission » Recommended links » Release of information »Patient/visitor information
Request an appointment » Request a prescription » Pay your bill » Send a gift » Send a card » Medical library login » Clergy login » Recommended links »Online services About Sanford Health Health information
Walk-in clinic wait timesNo appointment necessary. Wait times are updated every 15 minutes.
Request an appointmentOnline appointment requests are for non-emergency appointments only. If you believe you have an emergency, please call 911 or go to the Sanford Emergency & Trauma Center.
Click here to request an appointment online »
Refill a prescriptionClick here to request your refill online »
Back to previous page ¦ Heart stories ¦ Search stories
Back so soon?Realtor returns to work within a week of innovative procedure
A chest X-ray showed a tumor on Maixner’s thymus—an organ located in the upper chest between the breastbone and the heart that plays a role in developing cells of the immune system early in people’s lives but is not vital for adults. These tumors, known as thymomas, are present in about 10 percent to 15 percent of patients with myasthenia gravis. The tumor was pressing on Maixner’s thymus, helping lead to the symptoms he was experiencing.
Sanford Health is the first and only health system in Bismarck-Mandan to offer this innovative technology. The surgeon has control over the robotic system, which translates his or her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments that enter the body through minor incisions. The instruments mimic—and, at times, exceed—the complex movements of the human hand and wrist.
Maixner proved to be a good candidate for the method, and Dr. Pansegrau used robotic-assisted surgery to remove Maixner’s thymus. It was the first thymus removal using the da Vinci in North Dakota and required only four small incisions in Maixner’s chest.
“I certainly didn’t want to have my chest open if it wasn’t necessary,” Maixner said.
Typically, patients who have to have their chest cavity opened during surgery need two months to recover and resume normal activities, Dr. Pansegrau said. Because his procedure was performed in a minimally invasive fashion, Maixner, whose surgery took place on a Monday, managed to return to work that same Friday after a two-night hospital stay.
“It’s nice when the patients can get back to their daily routines so much quicker,” Dr. Pansegrau said. “It’s taken a major operation and greatly reduced the recovery time.”
Following the procedure, Maixner learned the tumor on his thymus was benign, or non-cancerous. He has returned to his normal work schedule, and the symptoms from his myasthenia gravis are far less severe now that his thymus is out.
He’s thankful the robotic-assisted surgical technology and a highly trained and skilled surgeon such as Dr. Pansegrau are available in Bismarck.
Click here for more information about Sanford Health cardiology or call (701) 323-5202.