Basic Components of Flexible Endoscopes

  • Benjamin K. PouloseEmail author


Modern flexible endoscopic systems represent a technologic convergence of endoscopic instrumentation and image processing techniques. Optimal utilization of modern flexible endoscopes requires a basic understanding of these technologies to provide effective diagnosis and therapeutics. Overall, the design of the endoscopic system has not changed for over 50 years. The target tissue is illuminated by light transmitted to the tip of the endoscope via a fiberoptic bundle. The image is then transmitted back to a video processor on the endoscopic tower. Conversion to standard analog or digital output occurs by the image processor for viewing on a video monitor. Advances in technology have supplemented this basic setup with light-emitting diode illumination and charge-coupled device-acquired images electronically transmitted back to the video processor. The image can now be transmitted to a flat panel monitor in high-definition (HD) format. In addition to light and video transmission, flexible endoscopes have a working channel through which instrumentation is passed, and channels for irrigation and insufflation. A thorough understanding of the particular endoscope and system available to the endoscopist will facilitate timely performance of the procedure and a working basis for troubleshooting problems.


Optical Coherence Tomography Narrow Band Imaging Insertion Tube Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy Tube Laparoscopic Common Bile Duct Exploration 
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Supplementary material

Video 2.1

Characteristics of endoscopes (MOV 658116 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA

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