What is a mediastinoscopy?

Mediastinoscopy is the exploration of the mediastinum (anatomical region between the two lungs) by an endoscope. The examination consists in introducing the endoscope through an incision of about 3 cm made at the base of the neck.

What is the purpose of a mediastinoscopy?

Mediastinoscopy aims at removing lymph nodes for analysis by an anatomopathologist, which allows to make a diagnosis or to assess the extent of a tumor. For patients suffering from associated cardiovascular diseases, certain other preoperative examinations can be performed (consultation with the anesthetists, cardiac examinations, etc.)

How to prepare for it?

This examination requires a basic assessment of operability: electrocardiogram, blood test, and chest X-ray.


Mediastinoscopy is performed in hospital, under general anesthesia. It requires a hospital stay of 24 to 48 hours.

Complications (between 1% and 1‰)

Hematoma, pneumothorax, voice change for some time, surgical site infection, and bleeding are possible complications.

There are also risks inherent to any general anesthesia.


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