A Mediastinoscopy is used to evaluate lymph nodes or other abnormal growths in the chest wall. In most cases, this procedure will help determine if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. Mediastinoscopy is also a useful diagnostic procedure in addressing certain infections such as tuberculosis, sarcoidosis and autoimmune disorders.

Why Mediastinoscopy?

Your doctor may conduct a mediastinoscopy exam to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary blockages or obstructions, specific infections of the lungs and lung cancer.

Image Courtesy of A.D.A.M.

Image Courtesy of A.D.A.M.

What to Expect

This diagnostic procedure using a lighted instrument called a mediastinoscope. This procedure takes place in the hospital under general anesthesia. The mediastinoscope enters the body through a small incision in the neck. The instrument will pass gently into the mid-section of the chest. Our surgeon collects tissue samples from the site for study. After the tissue samples are collected, the scope is slowly removed and the incision is closed with a few stitches.

The tissue samples collected during the medistinoscopy will be sent for lab testing. Many patients experience tenderness at the incision site and a sore throat afterward. Some patients are released from the hospital the same day, while others stay overnight.

You can expect the diagnostic procedure to last 60 to 90 minutes. The majority of patients will be able to return home the same day; however, in some cases a short hospital stay of 1 to days may be required.

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