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An endoscope is a tubular medical instrument with an optic fiber system that provides light, with which to view an area within the body without invasive surgery.  There are many types of endoscopes, each with a particular purpose, and understanding those can be very confusing. In this article, we will list a number of them and describe what the purpose of each is.

  • Arthroscope

           Arthroscopy is used for examination and / or treatment of damage to the joints, for example, during knee surgery. 

  • Brochoscope

           Bronchoscopes are used to examine the lungs for infection, bleeding, tumors, or blockages, and to take tissue or mucus samples.

  • Colonoscope

           Colonoscopes allow you to view the interior lining of the large intestine to identify possible ulcers, polyps, tumors, inflammation, or bleeding.

  • Colposcope

           A colposcope is placed at the opening of the vagina and provides an illuminated, magnified view of the cervix, and is typiaclly used for the purpose of preventing cervical cancer by detection of precancerous lesions.

  • Cystoscope

           A cystoscope is inserted through the urethra, for the purpose of viewing the interior of the bladder, for the treatment of urinary problems.

  • Duodenoscope

           A duodenoscope is inserted through the mouth and is used to view the small intestine, and is useful for removing gall stones, draining bile ducts, and treating pancreatitis for example.

  • Enteroscope

            Enteroscopes are used in the diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases, infections, viruses, bleeding, tumors or other abnormalities within the digestive system.  

  • Esophagoscope

            An esophagoscope is used to visualize the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract to the duodenum. It is inserted through the mouth, and while considered a minimally invasive procedure, will typically cause a sore throat.

  • Gastroscope

            Also inserted through the mouth, a gastroscope is used in the diagnosis and treatment of problems such as ulcers, cancers, and celiac disease within the stomach and duodenum (small intestine).

  • Hysteroscope

            Hysteroscopes are inserted into the uterus through the cervix, and provide the ability to remove polyps, fibroids, adhesions, and lost IUDs, or perform biopsies, endometrial ablation, or for cannulation of the fallopian tubes.

  • Laparoscope

            Inserted through a small incision in the abdomen, laparoscopes diagnose and treat problems within the stomach, liver, or other abdominal organ, including female reproductive organs.

  • Laryngoscope

            Inserted through the mouth, laryngoscopes treat and diagnose problems in the larynx. It may also be used to facilitate tracheal intubation during general anaesthesia or cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

  • Neuroendoscope

           A neuroendoscope is inserted through a small incision in the skull near the target area of the brain which is to be treated.

  • Proctoscope

           A proctoscope, also known as a rectoscope, is typically used to diagnose or treat hemorroids or rectal polyps.

  • Sigmoidoscope

           Sigmoidoscopes are inserted through the anus and used for examination of the large intestine, from the rectum to the most distal part of the colon.

  • Thoracoscope

           A thoracoscope is inserted through a small incision in the chest, and used for examination, biopsy or treatment of disease within the pleural cavity (lungs) and thoracic cavity (heart).

  • Ureteroscope

           Ureteroscopes are used for examination of the urinary tract. Common reasons for this procedure include diagnosis or removal of ureter or kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and  cancers, polyps, and tumors.

Some other types of tools commonly used during endoscopy include:

          Flexible Forceps ( For taking tissue samples )

          Biopsy Forceps  ( For taking tissue samples or removing suspicious growths )

          Cytology Brush   ( For taking cell samples )

          Suture removal Forceps   ( For removing stitches inside the body )



A Little Something to Know About Endoscopy Equipment Cleansing

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Once endoscopy equipment has been used on any patient, the equipment then needs to be cleaned and disinfected properly, before it can be used on another patient. But as this equipment is delicate in nature, you should take special precaution while you are cleaning it. Before your technician gets on with the cleaning here is what they need to know.

Cleaning the Equipment:
1. Before your technician cleans the equipment, it’s mandatory that s/he has gone through the instruction manual provided by the company.
2. They should be familiar with all the parts that form the equipment and understand how to clean each and every bit of it.
3. The endoscopic equipment needs a high level of disinfection since it’s exposed to a lot of microorganisms as soon as the equipment is removed from the patient.
4. It’s mandatory procedure to douse the equipment into enzymatic cleaning solution, as recommended by the manufacturers.
5. Some of the old endoscopy equipment cannot be totally immersed in water. If your endoscope did not include a manual, call the manufacturer for a copy before attempting any cleaning.

What to do after Cleaning is Complete?
After the cleaning process is complete, you have to make sure that the equipment is working properly. To do so, you will need to reduce the pressure on the air/water valve to force water through the outlet. Also reduce the pressure on the suction valve, while the tip is dipped in the cleaning solution. Alternating air and cleaning solution will remove more debris from internal layers.
1. In the newer models of the equipment, manufacturer may have provided an air water adapter. The function of this adapter is to ensure a continuous flow of air or water, through their respective channels.
2. After you have turned off the air pump, with gentle hands remove the air/water valve and attach the cleaning adapter. Then turn the air pump on, and for about 30 to 45 seconds allow air to pass through the channels. After the time has passed reduce the pressure on the valve to allow water to run through their respective channels.
3. Turn off the power for the video processor or camera, and with delicate hands detach the endoscope.
8. Wipe excess debris off endoscope with gauze sponges and enzymatic cleaning solution. If it has been recommended by the manufacturers, place a cap on top of the equipment and then carefully carry the entire kit to the re-processing area where you need to perform some more cleaning using gauze, sponges and disinfectants, in order to make it ready for the next procedure.


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Endoscopy can be just as useful in veterinary medicine as in human health care. Most commonly, endoscopy is used as a diagnostic tool, rather than to treat, but can also be used for what is termed "interventional endoscopy." Common reasons animals might benefit from endoscopy are much the same as the reasons humans benefit. Endoscopy will allow for a visual exploration of an area, as well as provide a means of obtaining a sample, or biopsy, without the risks of actual surgery. The broad range of types of endoscopy that can be performed on animals include respiratory tract endoscopy, upper and lower GI tract endoscopy, urinary and genital tract endoscopy, and abdominal endoscopy.

Interventional Endoscopy typically combines the use of endoscopic equipment with fluoroscopy and/or ultrasound, to perform other procedures, such as retrieval of foreign bodies, stone or polyp removal, balloon dilation of nasopharyngeal stenosis and esophageal strictures, tracheal or urethral stenting, and even feeding tube placement for example. In the case of an animal ingesting a sharp or otherwise dangerous object, an endoscope can be inserted through a protective overtube in order to retrieve the object without fear of causing further dame during the extraction.

A pet undergoing an endoscopic procedure will be placed under general anesthesia, and will not experience any discomfort. This may or may not require tests be performed to determine if it is safe for your pet to be sedated. The animal will likely need to fast for 12 hours prior to the procedure to insure the stomach and intestinal tract are empty of all food if undergoing gastrointestinal endoscopy. For a colonoscopy, oral medication should be administered prior to the procedure to remove fecal matter from the intestinal tract. For an exploration of certain areas such as the nasal cavity, it may be necessary to determine if bleeding is a concern. In almost all cases, the endoscopic procedures are performed as outpatient procedures, and your pet will be able to return home the same day.

New innovations are being discovered every day, and more and more veterinary practices are adopting the use of endoscopy for pets, so if you find yourself in a situation where surgery might be avoided, ask your vet whether endoscopy is an option, and even if they don't offer it as a service, they may be able to refer you to someone who will - it's worth it to ensure your pet gets the best quality care with a lower risk of complications, less side effects, and faster healing times.

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ERCP stands for Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatography.

This is a procedure that uses a combination of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and xray imaging to aid in the diagnosis of diseases of the pancreas, gallbladder, liver, and biliary system (a network of small ducts that transfer bile from the liver to the gallbladder and small intestine), but is mainly used to treat these diseases, as modern technology has provided several safer, less invasive tests such as Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Retrograde CholangioPancreatography (MRCP) scans and Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) for diagnosis.


Reasons for ERCP:

  • Gallstones - a condition where a small "stone", more formally known as a calculus, is created from bile acid and cholesterol derivatives
  • Acute or chronic pancreatitis - an inflammation or swelling of the pancreas that causes symptoms such as upper abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting
  • Intrahepatic or extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma - cancer of the bile ducts
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma - the most common type of primary liver cancer
  • Pancreatic adenocarcinoma - the most common type of pancreatic cancer
  • Other types of tumors, cancers, or blockages of the digestive system - numerous other conditions can require teatment with ERCP


Common Treatments with ERCP:

  • Sphincterotomy - a procedure used to open the ducts into the bowel to aid drainage or remove stones in the ducts
  • Stenting - a small tube made of plastic or metal inserted into a blocked or narrowed duct to hold it open
  • Removal of gallstones - ERCP can remove gallstones from the bile ducts but not from the gallbladder
  • Take tissue samples - ERCP can be used to take tissue samples to diagnose tumors found within the pancreas, gallbladder, or bile ducts


Risks and Complications:

ERCP is a low-risk procedure, but as with any procedure there is always a risk of complications. The most common complication of ERCP is pancreatitis, and is more likely to occur in patients with a healthy pancreas. Pancreatitis is characterized by swelling and imflammation of the pancreas. Usually, this will last for a few days, during which time you will need to remain in the hospital for pain medication and IV fluids, but can (rarely) become more serious. Other complications can include allergic reaction to the anesthesia or dye used during the procedure, bleeding, perforation of the bowel, and infection. Additionally, it is important to communicate with your doctor about any other medications, prescribed or otherwise, that you may be taking, in order to avoid adverse reactions between medications, especially blood thinning medications, such as aspirin or warfarin.

Seek emergency care if you have any of the following symptoms after the procedure:

  • Severe pain in the chest or abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting or vomiting blood
  • Bleeding or bloody (black) stool
  • Bloating
  • Fever higher than 100°F (37.8°C)
  • Difficulty breathing, or swallowing


Doctor holding endoscope in hand during procedure


Are you caring for your endoscope equipment properly? If not, you might have to face certain consequences. At M.D. Endoscopy, we know just how important it is to clean and care for your equipment properly. Learn about a few of the consequences below that you can avoid by ensuring you’re following the proper cleaning methods for the types and brands of endoscopes you use in your procedures.

2 Major Consequences of Improper Cleaning

Before using an endoscope on a patient, you should be sure that it has been cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized. If you skip any steps, it could result in the following:

  • Cross-Contamination: Failing to properly clean an endoscope can result in major complications for your patients. Using an endoscope on a patient that hasn’t been thoroughly disinfected and sanitized could increase the risk of passing on a deadly or disabling infection to your patients. In fact, the ECRI Institute rated improper cleaning of complex, reusable medical instruments as 2017’s second-biggest health technology hazard, noting that endoscopes fall into this category.
  • Device Failures: Not only can inadequate cleaning methods spread diseases and illnesses, but the function of the endoscopic instruments themselves can suffer as well. Instrument channels getting blocked is the most common device failure resulting from improper cleaning. When you have an malfunctioning equipment, you’ll end up wasting your time and money getting it repaired.

To avoid the above, you need to ensure that you and your team are cleaning instruments properly.

The Key to Proper Cleaning

If you want to prevent infections and keep your instruments in optimal condition, you need to have a foolproof cleaning process set in place. The following are essential for infection control and prevention:

  • Having a dedicated space for cleaning the instruments
  • Cleaning endoscopes manually
  • Keeping records of the cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing of equipment
  • Disinfecting equipment daily even if it was cleaned and disinfected the day before
  • Using different cleaners designated for different endoscope types and brands
  • When possible, avoiding or limiting exposure to cleaners and disinfectants that could result in adverse reactions for your patients

The most important thing is making sure that you have a system in place that will keep you compliant with all regulations and minimize the risks of spreading disease as much as possible. Because the cleaning processes and cleaning solutions will differ by brand and type, you should be sure to sure to familiarize yourself and your teams with the proper procedures for each instrument.

Have specific questions about the cleaning process? Contact us today! We’re happy to help you make sure you’re following the right cleaning procedures.

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M.D. Endoscopy

As the industry leader of pre-owned, refurbished and used endoscopy equipment, M.D. Endoscopy, Inc. offers one of the largest inventories of endoscopes in the world. We offer products from all major manufacturers including but not limited to Olympus, Pentax and Fujinon with the only and most comprehensive 24-month warranty in the industry.

Contact Us
  1-800-866-ENDO (3636)

Corporate Headquarters:
810 Fentress Ct. #110
Daytona Beach, FL. 32117