Thoracoscopy is a medical procedure involving internal examination, biopsy, and/or resection of disease or masses within the pleural cavity and thoracic cavity. Thoracoscopy may be performed either under general anaesthesia or under sedation with local anaesthetic. Thoracoscopy was developed by Hans Christian Jacobaeus, a Swedish internist in 1910 for the treatment of tuberculous intra-thoracic adhesions. He used a cystoscope to examine the thoracic cavity, developing his technique over the next twenty years. Today, thoracoscopy is performed using specialized thoracoscopes. These instruments include a light source and a lens for viewing and may have ports through which other instruments may be inserted for the purpose of tissue removal and manipulation.

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