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Video-Assisted Mediastinoscopy

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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.

HOW TO PREPARE:

The week before your procedure:

  • Arrange to have someone drive you home when you are discharged.
  • Tell your surgeon about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of surgery.
  • You may need a CT scan, PET scan, or other tests before the procedure. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The night before your procedure:

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

The day of your procedure:

  • Take only the medicines your surgeon told you to take.
  • An IV will be placed in a vein. You may be given medicine or liquids through the IV.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. Tell him or her if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia.
  • 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.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:

What will happen:

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.

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.

Risks

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.

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.