Management of a large mediastinal mass causing respiratory and hemodynamic compromise represents a major challenge during induction of anesthesia and surgical resection. The hemodynamic changes associated with anesthetic induction and initiation of positive-pressure ventilation can lead to acute hemodynamic collapse or inability to ventilate, or both. Initiation of cardiopulmonary bypass before anesthetic induction represents a safe alternative. We present a 37-year-old woman who underwent successful resection of a large anterior mediastinal mass through sternotomy. Cardiopulmonary bypass was instituted using the right femoral vessels under local analgesia to allow safe anesthetic induction. Her postoperative course was uneventful. This represents an example of a team approach to the management of a complex patient to achieve a successful outcome.
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© 2014 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.