To the great disappointment of all concerned, too many operations performed for pulmonary carcinoma still prove to be exploratory thoracotomies or non-curative resections, in spite of careful preoperative investigations.
A follow-up study of 168 patients operated upon for pulmonary carcinoma clearly shows that such non-curative procedures yield very disappointing results.
To reduce this number of unnecessary and often harmful operations mediastinoscopy was introduced as an aid in detecting mediastinal spread of the tumour. It was thought that such knowledge would make preoperative assessment more accurate and so make easier the decision whether to operate.
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