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Mediastinoscopy is a procedure in which a lighted instrument (mediastinoscope) is inserted through a neck incision to visually examine the structures in the top of the chest cavity and take tissue samples. This procedure can be used to biopsy lymph nodes surrounding the airway to help diagnose or see how far a particular disease has spread.

Review Date 6/2/2014

Updated by: Norman S. Kato, MD, Surgeon with the Cardiac Care Medical Group, Encino, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.