Mediastinoscopy with biopsy is a procedure in which a lighted instrument (mediastinoscope) is inserted in the space in the chest between the lungs (mediastinum). Tissue is taken (biopsy) from any unusual growth or lymph nodes.
This procedure is done in the hospital. You will be given general anesthesia so that you are asleep and do not feel any pain. A tube (endotracheal tube) is placed in your nose or mouth to help you breathe.
A small surgical cut is made in the neck. A device called a mediastinoscope is inserted through this cut and gently passed into the mid-part of the chest.
Tissue samples are taken of the lymph nodes around the airways. The scope is then removed and the surgical cut is closed with stitches.
A chest x-ray will often be taken at the end of the procedure.
The procedure takes about 60 - 90 minutes.
You must sign an informed consent form. You will not be able to have food or fluid for 8 hours before the test.
You will be asleep during the procedure. There will be some tenderness at the site of the procedure afterward. You may have a sore throat.
Most people can leave the hospital the next morning.
In most cases, the result of the biopsy is ready in 5 - 7 days.
This procedure is done to look at and then biopsy lymph nodes or any other abnormal growths in the front part of the mediastinum, near your chest wall.
Biopsies of lymph node tissues are normal and do not show signs of cancer or infection.
Abnormal findings may indicate:
There is a risk of puncturing the esophagus, trachea, or blood vessels. In some cases, this can lead to bleeding that can be life threatening.
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Putnam JB Jr. Lung, chest wall, pleura, and mediastinum. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 58.
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Lerut T, De Leyn P, Coosemans W, Decaluwe H, Decker G, Nafteux P, et al. Cervical videomediastinoscopy. Thorac Surg Clin. 2010;20(2):195-206.
Updated by: Norman S. Kato, MD, Surgeon with the Cardiac Care Medical Group, Encino, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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