What is an endoscope?

An endoscope is a long fiber-optic tube with a camera and a light at its tip, along with a small channel through which gastroenterologists pass instruments into the gut to perform a variety of treatments while viewing images on a monitor. “Through the endoscope, we can now perform biopsies, cut things, cauterize and even seal up small holes,” explains V. Raman Muthusamy, M.D., associate clinical professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of interventional endoscopy.
An endoscope is a flexible tube with a tiny camera and light at the end so a physician can view the inside of the upper gastrointestinal tract. As the physician moves it through the upper GI tract, electronic signals are transmitted from the scope to a computer that displays the image on a video screen. An open channel in the scope allows other instruments to be passed through it to take tissue samples, remove polyps and perform other exams.
An endoscope consists of a flexible tube, which is passed into the digestive tract to provide a video image, and a control section, which allows the endoscopist to maneuver the tip of the flexible tube in a precise manner.

Within the tube are the electronics necessary to obtain the video image, cables that allow control of the flexible tip, and channels that permit the passage of devices to sample tissue, stop bleeding, or remove polyps. The endoscope is a complex but durable instrument and is safe for use in thousands of procedures. 

Continue Learning about Diagnostic Procedures

Diagnostic Procedures

Diagnostic Procedures

Allergy tests, echocardiograms, biopsies, semen analysis and spinal taps are just a few of the medical diagnostic procedures that are performed on patients diagnose diseases and conditions. These classification procedures do not i...

nvolve x-ray imaging or a surgical procedure, but, involve taking measurements and samples of fluids, tissues and cells. Learn more about diagnostic procedures from our experts.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.