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Mediastinoscopy (say "mee-dee-yass-tuh-NAW-skuh-pee") is a test that looks at the space behind your breastbone in front of your lungs. This area is called the mediastinum (say "mee-dee-ya-STY-num").
During the test, a doctor makes a small cut (incision) in the neck just above the breastbone. Sometimes the cut is made on the left side of the chest next to the breastbone. Then the doctor places a lighted tube into the cut. The tube lets the doctor to look around inside that space.
This test is done to look for problems such as infection, inflammation, or cancer. The doctor may use the tube to take a sample of tissue from the area. This is called a biopsy. The sample can then be looked at under a microscope for lung problems.
This procedure usually takes about an hour.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
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Current as of: February 24, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
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