OBJECTIVES: Descending necrotizing mediastinitis (DNM) is a severe potentially fatal disease of the mediastinum which spreads downwards from oropharyngeal region. Mortality varies from 11 to 40%. There is agreement on the importance of early diagnosis, aggressive surgical treatment and the need for a multidisciplinary approach. DESIGN: Retrospective study of series of patient treated for DNM regarding multidisciplinary approach and surgical treatment. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixteen patients that were surgically treated for DNM from 2008 to 2017 at our hospital were consecutively enrolled in observational descriptive study. RESULTS: Twelve patients had disease localised above tracheal bifurcation level. Nine of them underwent transcervical drainage, three patients underwent more extensive treatment. Four patients with disease spread below the treacheal bifurcation level were treated with transcervical drainage in combination with posterolateral thoracotomy or videothoracoscopy. Three patients underwent videothoracoscopy - two of them as primary surgical treatment with need of one reoperation - contralateral videothoracoscopy. The third patient was initially treated with a transcervical approach and videothoracoscopy was indicated as a reoperation because of the progression of the disease. One patient died (mortality 6.25%). CONCLUSION: In management of descending necrotizing mediastinitis, early diagnosis, aggressive surgical treatment and use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and nowadays also multidisciplinary approach are crucial. Transcervical drainage combined with posterolateral thoracotomy or videothoracoscopy were used with good results.