Thoracoscopy was originally used for diagnosing pleural disorders only. However, thanks to improvements in the instrumentation since then, the procedure has evolved from diagnostic examinations to include minimally invasive interventions in the thorax region.
Endoscopic surgery of the mediastinum allows the removal of lymph nodes for diagnostic purposes or the resection of mediastinal tumors.
Bronchoscopic examination of the airways can be carried out using either rigid or flexible instruments. Rigid bronchoscopy is the method of choice for most interventions. Flexible bronchoscopy is mainly employed for diagnostics.