Last reviewed 01/2018

An endoscope is any instrument that is used to obtain a view or the interior of the body. Examples include the sigmoidoscope for examining the sigmoid colon and the auriscope for examining the inside of the ear.

In simple terms, modern endoscopes consists of three basic components: a lighting mechanism, an optical pathway, and a mechanical housing. The latter allows for the bidirectional flow of fluids and gas, and the passage of instruments.

The advent of fibre-optic imaging in the early 1970's lead to the current revolution in endoscopic procedures. Hence, flexible endoscopes are now capable of navigating far more confined spaces than their rigid predecessors.