Transsternal surgical biopsy of a mediastinal mass under local anesthesia

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Abstract

We describe a minimally invasive transsternal surgical approach to obtain biopsies from retrosternal masses under local anesthesia. This original procedure was carried out in a patient with superior vena cava syndrome because she was unfit to undergo a CT-guided biopsy and at high risk for narcosis. In patients with such features this procedure could be preferable to conventional techniques. The transsternal approach is reliable, produces minimal trauma and no risk of pleural or vessel injury, and is very fast.

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