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What is Endoscopy?

An endoscopy is a medical treatment that allows doctors to view within the body. An endoscope is used to inspect the interior of a hollow organ or cavity of the body during an endoscopic treatment. Endoscopes are placed directly into the organ, unlike many other medical imaging procedures.

Endoscopy Procedure

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Endoscopes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. An endoscopy may be conducted by a doctor or a surgeon, depending on the location in the body and the treatment. During the procedure, the patient may be fully aware or anaesthetized. The term endoscopy is most commonly used to describe an examination of the upper gastrointestinal system, also known as an esophagogastroduodenoscopy.

Types of Endoscopy

The most common types of endoscopy are listed below.

  1. Anoscopy- It can be done through the anoscope. The area viewed through this endoscopy is the anus and/or rectum. Endoscope is Inserted through the anus.

  2. Arthroscopy- It can be done through the .Arthroscope. The area viewed through this endoscopy is the Joints. Endoscope is Inserted through the Inserted through a small incision over the joint.

  3. Bronchoscopy- It can be done through the bronchoscope. The area viewed through this endoscopy is the Trachea, or windpipe, and the lungs. Endoscope is Inserted through the Inserted through the mouth. It is also called throat endoscopy.

  4. Colonoscopy- It can be done through the Colonoscope. The area viewed through this endoscopy is the Entire length of the colon and large intestine. Endoscope is Inserted through the anus.

Medical Uses

Endoscopy can be used to explore digestive complaints such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, swallowing difficulties, and gastrointestinal haemorrhage. It's also used to make diagnoses, most typically by taking a biopsy to screen for disorders like anaemia, bleeding, inflammation, and intestinal malignancies. Treatments such as cauterization of a bleeding vessel, expanding a narrow oesophagus, clipping off a polyp, and removing a foreign object are all possible with this surgery.

Many patients with Barrett's oesophagus are undergoing too many endoscopies, according to specialised professional organisations that specialise in digestive disorders. Patients with Barrett's oesophagus who have no cancer signs after two biopsies should get biopsies as needed and no more frequently than the suggested rate, according to such societies.

Risk of Endoscopy

Infection, over-sedation, perforation (a tear in the stomach or oesophagus lining), and bleeding are the main hazards. Although perforation is usually treated with surgery, antibiotics and intravenous fluids may be used in some cases. Bleeding might happen after a biopsy or after a polyp is removed. Minor bleeding can either stop on its own or be controlled with cauterization. Surgery is only required in rare cases. During a gastroscopy, perforation and bleeding are uncommon. Existing small concerns include drug interactions and consequences from the patient's other illnesses. As a result, individuals should tell their doctor about any allergies or medical issues they have. For a brief period of time, the location of the sedative injection may become irritated and sensitive. This is usually not serious, and a few days of warm compresses will generally suffice. While any of these issues could arise, it's important to note that they happen infrequently. A doctor can go over the risks with the patient in relation to the specific necessity for a gastroscopy.

Procedure after Endoscopy Process

After the procedure, the patient will be seen and supervised by a trained professional in an endoscopic room or recovery area until the majority of the drug has gone off. A minor sore throat may develop in some patients, which may respond to saline gargles or chamomile tea. It could last for weeks or never happen. The patient may experience distention as a result of the insufflated air utilised during the treatment. Both issues are minor and transient. When the patient is fully healed, they will be told when to start their regular diet (which will most likely be within a few hours) and will be allowed to return home. Most facilities require that the patient be driven home by another person and that he or she not drive or use machinery for the rest of the day if sedation was used. Patients who have undergone an endoscopy without anaesthesia are free to go.

Parts of Endoscope

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An endoscope can be made up of the following components:

  • A tube that can be hard or flexible.

  • A mechanism for delivering light to the organ or thing being examined The light source is usually external to the body, and it is usually directed by an optical fibre system.

  • A lens system that transmits an image from the objective lens to the viewer, such as a relay lens system in rigid endoscopes or a bundle of fiber optics in fiberscopes.

  • A magnifying glass Videoscopes with no eyepiece may be used as modern instruments. For image capture, a camera sends a picture to a screen.

  • An extra channel for medical equipment or manipulators to enter.

  • Sedation may be administered to patients having the surgery, which comes with its own set of dangers.


Philipp Bozzini of Mainz invented the first endoscope in 1806 when he introduced a "Lichtleiter" (light conductor) "for the investigations of the canals and cavities of the human body." The Vienna Medical Society, on the other hand, was against such curiosity. Antonin Jean Desormeaux, whose innovation was state-of-the-art before the discovery of electricity, was the first to employ an endoscope in a successful operation.

The introduction of electric light to endoscopy was a significant step forward. The first such lights were external, but they provided enough illumination to allow cystoscopy, hysteroscopy, and sigmoidoscopy, as well as examination of the nasal (and later thoracic) cavities, which Sir Francis Cruise (using his own commercially available endoscope) was performing routinely in human patients by 1865 in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Smaller bulbs became available later, allowing for interior lighting, as seen in a hysteroscope designed by Charles David in 1908.

Although the first documented thoracoscopic examination in a human was also by Cruise, Hans Christian Jacobaeus is credited with the first large published series of endoscopic examinations of the belly and thorax with laparoscopy (1912) and thoracoscopy (1910).

In the 1930s, Heinz Kalk employed laparoscopy to diagnose liver and gallbladder disorders. In 1937, Hope published a paper on the use of laparoscopy to detect ectopic pregnancy. Raoul Palmer was the first to reliably do gynecologic laparoscopy by placing his patients in the Trendelenburg position after gaseous distention of the abdomen in 1944.

Rod Lens Endoscope

A fibroscope's image quality was limited by its physical limitations. A bundle of 50,000 fibres, for example, yields a 50,000-pixel image, and prolonged stretching from use breaks fibres, resulting in pixel loss. When enough are lost, the entire bundle must be replaced (at considerable expense). Any further optical improvement, Harold Hopkins realised, would necessitate a different method. Previous rigid endoscopes had poor image quality and low light transmission. The endoscope's tube, which is itself limited in dimensions by the human body, had very little room for the imaging optics due to the surgical requirement of passing surgical equipment as well as the light system within it. A typical system's tiny lenses necessitated supporting rings that obscured the majority of the lens area; they were difficult to make and assemble, and they were optically nearly useless.

Hopkins devised an ingenious solution by using glass rods to cover the gaps between the 'tiny lenses.' These matched the endoscope's tube perfectly, making them self-aligning and requiring no additional support. This eliminated the need for the small lenses entirely. The rod-lenses were much easier to work with and employed the largest diameter possible.

Hopkins calculated and defined the correct curvature and coatings for the rod ends, as well as the best glass kinds to use, and the image quality was transformed - even with tubes as small as 1mm in diameter. The instruments and light system might be comfortably stored within an outer tube with a high-quality 'telescope' of such a small diameter. Karl Storz created the first of these new endoscopes once again, as part of a lengthy and fruitful collaboration between the two men.

While there are some areas of the body that will always require flexible endoscopes (most notably the gastrointestinal system), rigid rod-lens endoscopes are still the favoured equipment and have made current key-hole surgery possible. (Harold Hopkins was honoured by the medical community around the world for his contributions to medical optics. When he was given the Rumford Medal by the Royal Society in 1984, it constituted a big component of the citation.)

A doctor can determine the proportion of haemoglobin in the blood and detect stomach ulcers by measuring light absorption by the blood (by passing the light through one fibre and collecting it through another).

Did You Know 

  • Borescopes are comparable tools that are used for non-medical purposes.

  • Dr. John Macintyre created the self-illuminated endoscope as part of his speciality in laryngeal research at Glasgow Royal Infirmary in Scotland (one of the earliest hospitals to receive mains electricity) in 1894.

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FAQs on Endoscopy

Question: Does Endoscopy a Painful Procedure?

Answer: Although an endoscopy is rarely painful, it can be unpleasant. The majority of people have just minor discomfort, similar to that of indigestion or a sore throat. The surgery is normally performed while you are conscious. An endoscopy is not typically painful, although it can be uncomfortable. You may be given a local anaesthetic to numb a specific portion of your body. The majority of people have just little discomfort, similar to indigestion or heartburn.

Question: What is Gastroscopy?

Answer: A gastroscopy is a technique that involves looking inside the oesophagus (gullet), stomach, and first part of the small intestine with a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope (duodenum). The procedure is also known as an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. One end of the endoscope has a light and a camera.

Question: What is the Upper Endoscopy Procedure?

Answer: Your food pipe (oesophagus), stomach, and the first part of your small intestine make up the upper GI tract (the duodenum).

An endoscope is a long, flexible tube that is used to perform this treatment. On one end of the tube is a tiny light and video camera. The tube is placed in your mouth and down your throat. It is then gradually forced through your oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum. On a monitor, video images from the tube are displayed. The endoscope can also be used to implant small instruments.

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