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 9/10/2022
Updated by: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.