Video-assisted Mediastinoscopy

What you should know

A video-assisted mediastinoscopy is a procedure to look inside your mediastinum. The mediastinum is the space inside your upper chest between and in front of your lungs.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Risks

You may get an infection or bleed more than expected. Your surgeon may need to do other procedures to stop the bleeding. You may get blood clots or air in your chest cavity. Arteries (blood vessels) and nerves may be injured. After the procedure, your voice may be hoarse if the nerve from your voice box is damaged. You may need to have a video-assisted mediastinoscopy more than once. Without this procedure, your condition may get worse.

Getting Ready

The week before your procedure:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.

  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.

  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.

  • You may need to have a CT scan, PET scan, and other tests before the mediastinoscopy. Talk to your caregiver about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The night before your procedure:

  • You may be given medicine to help you sleep.

  • Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your procedure:

  • Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.

  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.

  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

Treatment

What will happen:

A small incision will be made in your neck. Your surgeon will separate the tissues under your skin and insert the videoscope inside the incision. A videoscope is a long bendable tube with a tiny camera on the end. The scope gives your surgeon a clear view inside your chest while he watches the images on a screen. The scope will be used to look inside your mediastinum. Your surgeon may also collect tissue samples. The videoscope will be pulled out and the incision will be closed with stitches.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room. A bandage will cover your stitches. This bandage keeps the area clean and dry to help prevent infection. A caregiver may remove the bandage soon after your procedure to check the area.

Contact a caregiver if

  • You cannot make it to your procedure.

  • You have a fever.

  • You get a cold or the flu.

  • You have a skin infection or a wound on your chest or neck.

  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • Your symptoms get worse.

  • You have sudden trouble breathing.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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