Endoscopes are pieces of equipment that help physicians diagnose issues in parts of the human body that cannot be seen with the naked eye. They’re also used to perform minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Like all sophisticated medical technology, endoscopes can develop issues from time to time that may interfere with their ease of use. While a biomedical technician may be able to troubleshoot some of these issues, other problems may need to be referred to endoscope repair companies.

How Do Endoscopes Work?

The main part of an endoscope is a flexible tube that’s made up of two optical cables, which are manufactured from high-quality plastic or glass. One of those cables is used to illuminate anatomical structures within a patient’s body; the other cable carries the image of those anatomical structures into an eyepiece or a camera. The cables that make up the endoscope are very thin: On average, each cable is no more than one-fifth of an inch in diameter.

Specialized Endoscopes

Endoscopes can be used to examine practically every part of the human body. Each of these endoscopes has been painstakingly engineered to align with the specific contours of anatomical structure it was designed to explore:

• Arthroscope: An arthroscope is an extremely thin flexible instrument that’s used to look inside joints. The typical arthroscope is approximately the diameter of a drinking straw. Arthroscopes are used most often to perform arthroscopic surgery on the knee, wrist, hip or ankle.

• Cytoscope: Cytoscopes are inserted through the urethra and used to detect conditions affecting the bladder. Cytoscopy is often carried out under general anesthesia due to the discomfort that’s often associated with this procedure.

• Laparoscope: Laparoscopes are inserted through a tiny incision in the abdominal wall and used to examine the organs inside the peritoneal cavity.

• Sigmoidoscope: If you’re older than 50, you may be familiar with sigmoidoscopes because they’re one of the instruments used in routine colon cancer screenings. Flexible sigmoidoscopies have been found to be just as effective a tool for colon cancer screening as colonoscopies, but they are far less invasive and linked with fewer side effects.