Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on stanfordhealthcare.org. We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
Nearly all tumors that occur in the posterior mediastinum are benign. These tumors are thus ideally suited to minimally invasive, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgical (VATS) approaches. This approach can be used to resect all but the largest neurogenic tumors, bronchogenic cysts, and foregut duplication cysts. VATS permits far less discomfort and faster recovery than the traditional approach via thoracotomy, which requires a larger skin incision, more cutting of muscle, and spreading the ribs.