An endoscope is a minimal invasive medical tool that allows for the diagnosing of internal human body organs by inserting a small scope into the body though various natural opening such as the mouth or the urethra. Through the scope a doctor can see lesions on interior surfaces. With the help of an endoscope it is possible not only to examine the internal organs but also to take small biopsies and retrieve foreign objects.
An endoscopy is referred to as the least invasive surgery. Most endoscopic procedures are painless enough and give only uncomfortable sensations to patients. Complications are very rare; however, there is a likelihood of getting internal organ damage during the endoscopy process. In this case, a surgery is required to repair the injury.
It is interesting to admit that the first rigid endoscopes were invented two hundred years ago and were dedicated for the inspection of cavities and canal in the human body. However, this innovation was not met with favor and the first examination took place in 1853. The use of an electric light was a very significant step in the development of rigid endoscopes. The first lights in rigid endoscopes were external because of their size. Later, with the invention of the small electric light bulbs, the first rigid endoscopes with internal light came into existence.
The area of application with endoscopes has increased. It became possible to explore the gallbladder, liver, abdomen, and other organs. Endoscopes started to be used to diagnose ectopic pregnancies in the late forties. In 1949, the first gynecological laparoscopy was performed with endoscopes.
A significant boost for the further development of endoscopy was made by the use of fiber optics in endoscopes. The first devices belonged to rigid endoscopes and fiber optics allowed for the creation of a flexible endoscope. Therefore, the technology of glass fiber resulted in revolutionary changes in medicine in the field of endoscopy. Flexible endoscopes allow for the performing of a tube ligation procedure and diagnostic evaluations of the pelvis in the middle eighties.
The first laparoscopic cholecystectomy took place in 1984 and three years later a video laparoscopic cholecystectomy was performed. During the next decade, endoscopic surgery was extended to the boundaries of investigation because it became possible to view the appendix, colon, spleen, kidney, stomach, and liver. With the development of robotic systems, a remote surgical operation was introduced into medical practice. The entire process was remotely controlled by a surgeon when he or she is far away from the operating room.
It goes without saying that worldwide telecommunications and video endoscopy made it happen. It was the first transatlantic operation called The Lindberg Operation. The technologies however are getting more and more advanced and sophisticated. Therefore, in 2001, the Given Imaging Company introduced a bean sized endoscopic surgery capsule with a camera embedded inside of it. In 2004, endoscopic surgery capsules were able to capture 0.5 mega pixel video at 25 fps frames a second. Such endoscopic surgery capsules with a camera inside allow for performing many difficult procedures like the exploration of tissues to biopsy retrieval. The costs of these capsules are about $130 and are powered by wireless transmission or battery.