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  • A mediastinoscopy is a procedure which uses a scope to look inside your mediastinum. The mediastinum is the space inside your chest between and in front of your lungs. It contains the heart, large blood vessels, trachea (windpipe), esophagus (food pipe) and lymph nodes. A mediastinoscopy is used to look at these organs and structures, find infection, or see how bad lung cancer is. It can also be used to collect samples of lymph nodes or tumors (growths). Lymph nodes are small organs found in your neck and the rest of your body. They have special cells that fight off infection, swelling, and cancer. Lymph nodes may swell (get bigger) if you have an infection or illness.
  • You may need a standard, anterior, or extended mediastinoscopy. A mediastinoscopy may help caregivers learn what is causing your signs and symptoms. It may also help caregivers see how well treatments are working, and if other treatments should be started.


Take your medicine as directed.

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
    • Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

  • Ask your caregiver when you should return to have your wound checked, and the stitches removed.

Bathing with stitches:

Follow your primary healthcare provider's instructions on when you can bathe. Gently wash the part of your body that has the stitches. Do not rub on the stitches to dry your skin. Pat the area gently with a towel. When the area is dry, put on a clean, new bandage as directed.


  • You have a fever.
  • You have nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting (throwing up).
  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure, or medicine.


  • Your bandage becomes soaked with blood.
  • You are coughing up blood.
  • Your wound has blood, pus, or a foul-smelling odor.
  • You have trouble breathing or chest pain.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.