Mediastinoscopy is a common method used in staging of lung cancer in diagnosis of lung diseases (Sarcoidosis, Tuberculosis etc.) related with lymph node. It is a safe intervention giving precise results beside computed tomography and nuclear medicine.

Application methods

  • Standard cervical mediastinoscopy: In this most frequently used mediastinoscopy, a special device is introduced into the cavity called mediastinum between heart and lungs through a small incision made in patient’s neck with general anesthesia. If video will be used, the received images are reflected on a screen. The device is forwarded outside and in front of trachea and biopsy is taken from lymph nodes or tumors found therein.
  • Anterior mediastinoscopy: Intervention is not from the neck but the left anterior chest, between around the 2nd and 3rd ribs. Other procedures are the same as above.
  • Extended cervical mediastinoscopy: The site of incision is the same as that in standard cervical mediastinoscopy, however the device is forwarded through a different route. It is forwarded in front of an artery called aorta, and biopsy is taken from lymph nodes surrounding the veins.
  • Subxiphoidal Mediastinoscopy: Intervention is made from below breastbone.


It is most frequently applied during preoperative stage of cancer. If cancerous cell is observed in the lymph node biopsy taken from here, surgery is not recommended to the patient. Although no great risks are involved, since the operation is done on a site close to vital organs and rich in veins, some undesired problems may be encountered. Scarcely any death cases occur during this procedure (0.08%).