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Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

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How To Prepare continued...

Also, certain conditions may make it more difficult to do a mediastinoscopy. Let your doctor know if you have:

  • Had a mediastinoscopy or open-heart surgery in the past. The scarring from the first procedure may make it hard to do a second procedure.
  • A history of neck problems or a neck injury, especially hyperextension of the neck.
  • Any physical problems of your chest, including those that have been present since birth (congenital).
  • Recently had radiation therapy to the neck or chest.

You will receive general anesthesia and be asleep during the mediastinoscopy. To prepare for your procedure:

  • Your doctor will tell you how soon before the procedure to stop eating and drinking. Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking, or your surgery may be canceled. If your doctor has instructed you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, please do so using only a sip of water.
  • Leave your jewelry at home. Any jewelry you wear will need to be removed before the procedure.
  • Remove glasses, contact lenses, and dentures or a removable bridge just prior to the procedure. These will be given back to you as soon as you wake up after the procedure.
  • Arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure if you do not need to stay in the hospital.

Your doctor may order certain blood tests, such as a complete blood count or clotting factors, before your procedure.

How It Is Done

Mediastinoscopy is done by a chest (thoracic) surgeon and surgical assistants.

Before the procedure, an intravenous (IV) line will be placed in a vein to give you fluids and medicines. After you are asleep, a tube will be placed in your throat (endotracheal or ET tube) to help you breathe during the procedure. Your neck and chest will be washed with an antiseptic soap and covered with a sterile drape.

An incision will be made just above your breastbone at the base of your neck or on the left side of your chest near the breastbone between the 4th and 5th ribs. The mediastinoscope will be inserted through the opening. Your doctor will examine the space in your chest between your lungs and heart. Lymph nodes or abnormal tissue will be collected for examination. After the scope is removed from your chest, the incision will be closed with a few stitches and covered with a bandage.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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