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Video-assisted Mediastinoscopy


  • A video-assisted mediastinoscopy is a procedure which uses a videoscope to look inside your mediastinum. The mediastinum is the space inside your upper chest between and in front of your lungs. It contains the heart, large blood vessels, trachea (windpipe), esophagus (food pipe) and lymph nodes. 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.
  • A video-assisted mediastinoscopy is used to find infections, or help caregivers learn if you have conditions such as sarcoidosis. It is also used to see how bad lung cancer is, or collect tissue samples from lymph nodes or tumors (growths). A videoscope is used for this procedure. It is a long bendable tube with a tiny camera on the end. The scope gives caregivers a clear view inside your chest while watching the images on a screen. Having the procedure 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.

© 2018 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.