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Mediastinoscopy

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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.

HOW TO PREPARE:

The week before your procedure:

  • Arrange for someone to drive you home when you are discharged after the procedure.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for the procedure, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of the procedure.
  • You may need to have a CT scan, PET scan, and other tests before the mediastinoscopy. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about these and other tests that you may need.

The night before your procedure:

You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

The day of your procedure:

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers 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.
  • Take only the medicines your healthcare provider told you to take.
  • An IV will be put into a vein. You may get medicine or liquids through the IV.
  • 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 healthcare providers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:

What will happen:

A small incision will be made just above your breastbone. Your healthcare provider will insert a mediastinoscope into the incision. A mediastinoscope is a thin tube with a light on the end. The scope will be used to look inside your mediastinum. Your provider 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 a 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.

CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF:

  • 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

  • You have sudden trouble breathing.

Risks

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. You may need to have more than 1 mediastinoscopy.

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.

Further information

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