Mercy Cardiac Surgery
Mediastinal Lymph Node Biopsy
Mediastinal lymph node biopsy is a surgical procedure performed to determine if lymph nodes within the chest cavity are cancerous and, if so, the stage of certain types of cancer. Mediastinal tumors are found in an area within the chest cavity between the lungs, behind the breastbone and in front of the spine. Although there are several types of mediastinal tumors, classified according to their location within the chest cavity, children more often develop non-cancerous mediastinal tumors closer to the spine while adults more frequently develop malignant mediastinal tumors behind the breastbone.
The majority of patients with mediastinal tumors have no symptoms and the diagnosis occurs because the image shows up on a chest x-ray or another chest exam taken for another condition. If large enough mediastinal tumors can create enough pressure on adjacent organs to create symptoms such as:
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- swollen or tender lymph nodes
- blood in phlegm
Doctors are able to diagnose mediastinal tumors using one or more diagnostic tests including a chest x-ray, CT scan or MRI of the patient’s chest or mediastinal biopsy.
Using the daVinci system surgeons at the Mercy Center for Robotic Surgery are able to precisely extract tissue samples from affected lymph nodes in the mediastinal area.