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Video-Assisted Mediastinoscopy


A video-assisted mediastinoscopy is a procedure to look inside your mediastinum. The mediastinum is the space inside your upper 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.

During your procedure:

General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your surgeon will make a small incision in your neck just above your sternum. He or she will insert the scope inside the incision. A scope is a long bendable tube with a tiny camera on the end. The scope gives your surgeon a clear view inside your chest while he or she watches the images on a screen. The scope will be used to look inside your mediastinum. Your surgeon may also collect tissue samples. The videoscope will be pulled out and the incision will be closed with stitches.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to recover. Healthcare providers will watch 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 may be able to go home or taken to your hospital room.

  • Medicine will be given to decrease pain, treat nausea, or prevent a bacterial infection.


You may get an infection or bleed more than expected. You may get blood clots or air in your chest cavity. Blood vessels and nerves may be injured. Your voice may be hoarse if the nerve from your voice box is damaged. You may need to have this procedure more than once.


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

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