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Possible incision sites above and at side of breastbone, with inside view of mediastinum space between lungs.

Mediastinoscopy (say "mee-dee-yass-tuh-NAW-skuh-pee") is a procedure that looks at the space behind your breastbone between your lungs. This area is called the mediastinum (say "mee-dee-ya-STY-num").

A small cut (incision) is made in the neck just above the breastbone or on the left side of the chest next to the breastbone. Then a thin scope (mediastinoscope) is inserted through the opening. A tissue sample (biopsy) can be collected through the scope. The sample can then examined under a microscope for problems. These may include infection, inflammation, or cancer.

Current as of: March 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
David C. Stuesse MD - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery


PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.