The complex role of an endoscope
When a physician needs to look inside a patient’s body, they perform a procedure called endoscopy. Depending on where in the body the procedure is being done, endoscopy may be called other names such as cystoscopy (urinary system), bronchoscopy (lungs), esophagoscopy (esophagus) or laryngoscopy (back of throat).
To perform an endoscopic procedure, the physician inserts a thin, tube-like device called an endoscope into the body. At the end of the tube, there is a camera allowing the physician to view the body and organs without the need for a large surgical incision. As the name would suggest, flexible endoscopes are made of materials that allow it to bend and flex easily. If you know anything about the twists and turns in our internal anatomy, you can understand why this is very important.
Because endoscopes are such complex devices, they require meticulous cleaning and disinfection processes after each use. This ensures they are safe to use on the next patient and minimizes the risk of cross-contamination.
The EndoSheath® protective barrier changes how endoscopy is done
The sterile, single-use EndoSheath barrier completely covers the endoscope and ensures that the endoscope does not come in direct contact with the patient during the procedure. When the procedure is finished, the single-use barrier is removed and discarded. The endoscope is then prepped for use on another patient with a brand new, sterile barrier.
Patients should feel comfortable asking their physicians about the cleaning, disinfecting, and preparation of the flexible endoscopes that will be used in their procedures. Here are some questions related to your flexible endoscopy that you can ask your physician:
- How is the endoscope cleaned between patients?
- How do you ensure this process is effective?
- What other concerns should I have regarding the endoscopy equipment?
- If you do not use an endoscope with a sterile, disposable barrier, why not?
Learn more about PrimeSightTM Endoscopy using the EndoSheath protective barrier.