Endoscopy

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A flexible endoscope.

Endoscopy means to look inside. This often means looking inside the body for medical reasons with an endoscope.

An endoscope is a medical instrument that is made to see parts inside a patient's body. This has the advantage that observations and certain operations can be done without opening up the body. Whatever precautions are taken, an open body part is always at risk of infection.

The endoscope has a long tube to enter the patient's body and a tiny camera or lens attached to the front of this tube. It is usually inserted into patient's nose, mouth, or anus, so surgeons can see what is going on. If necessary, various actions can be taken.

Parts[change | change source]

An endoscope has at least some of these parts:

  • a rigid or flexible tube.
  • a light, which is usually outside the body and delivered by an optical fibre system.
  • a lens system which takes the image from the objective lens to the viewer. This can be done by a relay lens system in the case of rigid endoscopes or a bundle of fiberoptics in the case of a fibrescope.
  • an eyepiece. Modern instruments may be videoscopes, with no eyepiece. In these a camera transmits image to a screen. This has the advantage that the image can be seen by all in the operating theatre.
  • an additional channel to carry medical instruments or manipulators.

Uses[change | change source]

Endoscopy can involve