Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
Mediastinoscopy is a surgical procedure that allows physicians to view areas of the mediastinum, the cavity behind the sternum (breastbone) that lies between the lungs. The organs in the mediastinum include the heart and its vessels, the lymph nodes,...
trachea, esophagus, and thymus.
Mediastinoscopy is most commonly used to detect or stage cancer. It is also ordered to detect infection, and to confirm diagnosis of certain conditions and diseases of the respiratory organs. The procedure involves insertion of an endotracheal (within the trachea) tube, followed by a small incision in the chest. A mediastinoscope is inserted through the incision. The purpose of this equipment is to allow the physician to directly see the organs inside the mediastinum, and to collect tissue samples for laboratory study.
Mediastinoscopy is a surgical procedure that enables visualization of the contents of the mediastinum, usually for the purpose of obtaining a biopsy. Mediastinoscopy is often used for staging of lymph nodes of lung cancer or for diagnosing other conditions effecting structures in the mediastinum such as sarcoidosis or lymphoma.
Mediastinoscopy involves making an incision approximately 1 cm above the suprasternal notch of the sternum, or breast bone. Dissection is carried out down to the pretracheal space and down to the carina. A scope (mediastinoscope) is then advanced into the created tunnel which provides a view of the mediastinum. The scope may provide direct visualization or may be attached to a video monitor.
Mediastinoscopy provides access to mediastinal lymph node levels 2, 4, and 7.
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