Mediastinoscopy Procedure

Submitted by Nic on October 16, 2012

A mediastinoscopy procedure is a medical procedure that is carried out when the doctor suspects and infection in the lung or cancer present in the lungs or the area around the lungs. It is a surgical procedure which examines the inside of the upper chest in front of and between the lungs. This area is known as the mediastinum. The organs in the mediastinum include the heart and its vessels, trachea, thymus, esophagus, and the lymph nodes. This area is worked on during a mediastinoscopy procedure. This mediastinoscopy procedure is an invasive procedure. An incision will be made in the upper chest either below or above the left side of the breast bone. This procedure is usually performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. The entire procedure takes about an hour. This does not include preparation and recovery time.

A mediastinoscopy procedure is often conducted with a biopsy. It is a well known fact that biopsy collection is one of the methods used to diagnose cancer. The sample collected is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. A mediastinoscopy procedure that is used along with a biopsy will help the doctor to diagnose cancer as well as other diseases that affect this area. These diseases include lymph node infections, tuberculosis and sarcoidosis.

As with any other procedure, there are risks associated with a mediastinoscopy procedure as well. These risks must be taken into account before the procedure is carried out. Having said this however, studies have shown that the complications that arise from a mediastinoscopy procedure are rare. They could include:-

  • An infection
  • Esophageal injury
  • Air bubble
  • Paralysis on one side of the body
  • Hemorrhage
  • Injury to a thoracic nerve
  • Chylothorax

The mediastinoscopy procedure code will be available with the doctor or hospital where the surgery is being performed.

A mediastinoscopy chamberlain procedure is known as an anterior mediastinotomy. This procedure is also used to check lymph nodes present in the chest; mainly in the center as also to check any mass present in the center of the chest. This procedure differs a little when compared to a cervical mediastinoscopy as the area where the incision is made is different as is the area of the mass or lymph nodes that are to be looked at and checked. In this type of mediastinoscopy the incision is made over the second rib where it joins the breast bone.

The chamberlain procedure that is carried out on the chest is mostly on the left side. However, there may be times when this procedure is performed on the right side of the chest as well.

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