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Anesthesia for patients with an anterior mediastinal mass

Javier Lasala, MD
Ron Purugganan, MD
Section Editor
Peter D Slinger, MD, FRCPC
Deputy Editor
Nancy A Nussmeier, MD, FAHA


Mediastinal masses may be small, slow-growing, and asymptomatic, or large, aggressive, symptomatic tumors (figure 1 and table 1). This topic discusses anesthetic care of patients undergoing a surgical procedure (eg, biopsy or resection) for diagnosis or treatment of an anterior mediastinal mass. Preanesthetic assessment, intraoperative anesthetic management, and early postoperative care are addressed.

Initial evaluation of mediastinal masses is discussed separately. (See "Approach to the adult patient with a mediastinal mass".)


The major goal of the preanesthesia consultation is to assess risk of airway or respiratory compromise and/or hemodynamic instability due to:

Mass effect on the airway and lungs.

Mass effect on major cardiovascular structures and circulation.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 19, 2017.
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