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A flexible endoscope
Drawings of Bozzini's "Lichtleiter", an early endoscope

An endoscope is an illuminated optical, typically slender and tubular instrument (a type of borescope) used to look deep into the body by way of openings such as the mouth or anus, and used in procedures called an endoscopy. Endoscopes use tubes which are only a few millimeters thick to transfer illumination in one direction and high-resolution images in real time in the other direction, resulting in minimally invasive surgeries.[1] "Endo" is Greek for "within" while "scope" comes from the Greek word "skopos" meaning to target or look out. It is used to examine the internal organs like the throat or esophagus. Specialized instruments are named after their target organ. Examples include the cystoscope (bladder), nephroscope (kidney), bronchoscope (bronchus), arthroscope (joints) and colonoscope (colon), and laparoscope (abdomen or pelvis).[2] They can be used to examine visually and diagnose, or assist in surgery such as an arthroscopy.

For non-medical uses, similar instruments are called borescopes. In recent times electronic borescopes have become widely and cheaply (~$10) available and are often advertised as endoscopes.

The first effective open-tube endoscope was developed in 1853 by Desormeaux. This instrument was used to examine the urethra and the bladder Then in the late 1800's, other physicians including Kussmaul and Nitze refined original endoscopic models and began these prototypes to be used for medical use.

Endoscopy is a procedure that is used in the medical field. The procedure consists of looking into different body parts such as the esophagus, stomach or duodenum, and evaluating symptoms such as pain in the upper abdominal, common symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, difficulty in swallowing, or intestinal bleeding anemia (intestinal bleeding anemia is when you have too much blood loss meaning that not enough healthy red blood cells can be carried to your body’s organs).


  1. ^ Süptitz Wenko, and Sophie Heimes. Photonics: Technical Applications of Light: Infographics. Spectaris GmbH, 2016.
  2. ^ "Medical Definition of Endoscope". Medicinenet.com. Retrieved 11 August 2017.

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