Device for measuring the forces exerted on the shaft of an endoscope during colonoscopy
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Colonoscopy involves advancing a flexible endoscope into and along the entire length of the colon. The procedure can be painful and carries the risk of perforating the organ, yet very little is known of the forces involved. A device to measure the forces exerted on the endoscope during colonoscopy is described. The device features a handle designed on the shape of a hinged split cylinder that locks around the endoscope, gripping it tightly. The handle has two parts, an inner part that grips the endoscope, and an outer part that is gripped by the endoscopist. The two parts are jointed together by members that transmit the forces through to the endoscope. One of the members incorporates strain gauges that measure the torque applied to the endoscope, as well as the push and pull forces. The handle can easily be unlocked and moved along the endoscope as the colonoscopy proceeds. The device is used to measure the forces applied to the endoscope during 11 routine colonoscopies, and summary results are presented. These are believed to be the first accurate measurements of the forces exerted during colonoscopy.
KeywordsColonoscopy Endoscopy Force measurement
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