Mediastinoscopy with Biopsy


Mediastinoscopy with biopsy is a procedure in which a lighted instrument (mediastinoscope) is inserted in the space in the chest between the lungs. Tissue is taken (biopsy) from any unusual growth or lymph nodes. This is done to examine the mediastinum—a space between the breastbone (sternum in the middle of the chest, between the two lungs).

Why Might I Need Mediastinoscopy?

The procedure is most often done to remove lymph nodes when a person has lung cancer. The nodes are examined to see how far the cancer has spread and to help a doctor determine the best treatment choices for the lung cancer.

What to Expect

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Your healthcare provider will explain the procedure to you. You may have blood tests or exams before the procedure. In this hospital, you will be given general anesthesia so that you fall asleep and do not feel any pain.

A tube is placed in your nose or mouth to help you breathe. A small surgical cut is made above the breastbone and a device called a mediastinoscope is inserted through the cut and gently passed into the mid-part of the chest. Tissue samples are taken, a biopsy (often done from the lymph nodes).

After the exam and any other procedures are done, the mediastinoscope will be removed. You will spend some time in the recovery room. Your healthcare team will monitor you and your incision will be checked for bleeding before your leave. You can take medicine as prescribed by your doctor.


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How long does the procedure take?

Around 60-90 minutes.