Skip to Content



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


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during your procedure. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.

During your procedure:

A small incision will be made in your neck. The surgeon will separate the tissues and insert a mediastinoscope inside the incision. A mediastinoscope is a thin tube with a light on the end. The scope will be used to look inside your mediastinum. The surgeon may also collect tissue samples. The scope 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. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider 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 and helps prevent infection. A healthcare provider may remove the bandage soon after your procedure to check the area.

  • Medicine:
    • Antibiotics help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
    • Antinausea medicine calms your stomach and prevents vomiting.
    • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a healthcare provider when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.


You may get an infection or bleed more than expected. Your healthcare provider 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 hurt. You may need to have a mediastinoscopy done more than once. Without this procedure, your condition may get worse.


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.

© 2016 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.