Pronounced: Mee-dee-ah-stine-OT-oh-meeEn Español (Spanish Version)
The mediastinum is the area in the middle of the chest between the lungs. A mediastinotomy is the creation of a small opening in the upper chest into the mediastinum. This opening allows the doctor to examine the area between and in front of the lungs.
The Lungs (Cut-away View)
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This procedure is done to examine the lungs and chest. Your doctor might take tissue samples (biopsy). These samples are examined under a microscope to check for diseases like:
- Cancer of the lungs, bronchi, and chest tissue
- Lymphoma—cancer in the lymphatic system, such as Hodgkin’s disease
- Sarcoidosis—a condition that causes inflammation in organs like the lungs, liver, lymph nodes, and spleen
Mediastinotomy is also done to find out if lung cancer has spread.
Last reviewedFebruary 2014by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.