(Lymph Node Biopsy)

Mediastinoscopy is performed by passing a scope through a small incision right above the sternum, and a small piece of tissue is removed from the lymph nodes. Your doctor will inspect the lymph nodes for obvious abnormalities. These lymph nodes drain from the lungs, which enables the identification of many conditions or diseases occurring within the lungs. The tissue is then examined with a microscope to identify abnormal cells, which may be caused by acute or chronic conditions that cause the formation of cyst-like nodules (sarcoidosis or granulomas), or lung cancer. Since some lung cancers may be inoperable, this biopsy is done to determine the stage of the cancer and whether surgery is an option. Mediastinoscopy is also used to help your doctor diagnose cancer of the thymus gland, tuberculosis, Hodgkin's disease, or lung infections.


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