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Mediastinoscopy

  • What is mediastinoscopy?

    Mediastinoscopy is a procedure that allows the physician to view the lymph nodes in the center of your chest through a small metal tube (mediastinoscope). A small tube is passed through a small incision at the base of your neck or to the side of your breast plate. This procedure also enables the physician to collect samples of your lymph node tissue.

    Preparation

    • Before the procedure, blood tests are sometimes required.
    • No food or drink may be taken for at least six hours before the procedure.
    • An intravenous catheter (IV) will be placed in your arm so that medications can be given if needed.
    • You must have transportation home as you may be drowsy after the procedure. You will not be allowed to drive yourself home.

    What you should know about this procedure

    • The physician will explain the procedure and obtain your consent if he/she has not already done so.
    • Dentures and/or plates must be removed.
    • During the procedure you will be given general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep.

    Following the procedure

    • Recovery occurs in the post-anesthetic care unit.
    • After the mediastinoscopy is completed, you will have small tape-like strips applied to the incision. These strips should stay in place about one week.
    • You will need to keep the area dry for 48 hours. This is very important to prevent infection and allow healing to occur.
    • If you receive intravenous medication before the procedure to help you relax or if you are taking oral pain medications, you should not operate heavy machinery, drive a car, drink alcohol or make any important decisions for 12 to 24 hours after the procedure. Your physician will let you know when you may resume your regular activities.
    • Please inform your physician if you should develop any of the following: shortness of breath, wheezing, bloody sputum, fevers, excessive swelling at the site, or chest pain.
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