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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Thoracoscopy is a procedure to look inside your chest cavity with an endoscope. An endoscope is a narrow bendable tube that has a light source on the end. The end of the endoscope has a camera that may be attached to a video monitor. It is inserted into your chest through small incisions in the chest wall. Thoracoscopy may be done to diagnose or treat conditions of the lungs and pleura (thin lining covering the lungs).
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your 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.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Ask when you should return to have your wound checked, and the stitches or drains removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Bathing with stitches:
Follow your 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.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your wound has blood, pus, or a foul-smelling odor.
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
- You cough up blood.
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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.