(Chamberlain’s Procedure; Anterior Mediastinotomy)
|The Lungs (Cut-away View)|
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Reasons for Procedure
- Cancer of the lungs, bronchi, and chest tissue
- Lymphoma—cancer in the lymphatic system, such as Hodgkin’s disease
- Sarcoidosis—a condition that causes inflammation in organs like the lungs, liver, lymph nodes, and spleen
- Chylothorax—leakage of lymphatic fluid into the chest
- Damage to organs in the chest
- Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
What to Expect
Prior to the Procedure
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners
- Antiplatelet drugs
- You will be asked to remove any jewelry, glasses, contact lenses, or dentures.
- You may be given medications to help you feel sleepy and relaxed.
- Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any allergies.
- You will need someone to drive you home after the procedure.
Description of the Procedure
- You will lie on your back on an operating table.
- Your skin will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution.
- The doctor will make a small cut in your chest.
- The doctor will move your muscles aside to examine the space between your lungs and heart.
- Tissue samples may taken from your lungs, lymph nodes, or other parts of your chest.
- When the procedure is finished, the opening will be closed with stitches.
- The wound will be covered with a dressing.
Immediately After the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- You will be taken to the recovery room after the procedure until the anesthetic wears off.
- Your doctor may order a chest x-ray to check for bleeding or air inside your chest space.
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding your healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incision
- You may feel sleepy for several hours or even 1-2 days following anesthesia. Do not drive during this time.
You may have a sore throat from the tube placement.
- Use throat lozenges.
- Gargle with warm water.
Keep your wound clean and dry.
- Wash your hands before touching the wound.
- Use a soft washcloth to gently wipe the wound with soap and water.
- Change the dressing as instructed by your doctor.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Redness, swelling, pain, or bleeding from the wound
- Chest pain
- Swelling in the neck
- Difficulty swallowing
- Hoarseness that lasts more than a few days or worsens
- Shortness of breath
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Joint pain, fatigue, stiffness, rash, or other new symptoms
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
American Lung Association http://www.lung.org
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Kellicker PG. Lymph node biopsy. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary. Updated November 11, 2010. Accessed May 10, 2010.
Mason RJ, Broadduss VC, Murray JF, Nadel JA. Murray and Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 4th ed. 2005: Saunders. Available at: http://www.mdconsult.com. Accessed May 10, 2010.
Mediastinotomy. Roswell Park Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.roswellpark.org/patients/diagnostic-tests/mediastinotomy. Accessed December 8, 2010.
Pinto S. Sarcoidosis. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=16&topicID=860. Published June 29, 2005. Updated November 11, 2008. Accessed May 10, 2010.
6/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 00/12/2014 -