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Endoscopy - definition
Endoscopic examination allows for evaluation of organs which cannot be diagnosed with the standard ENT tools. The endoscope is usually a thin metal or rubber-coated elastic tube with a lens on top of it. Combined with the light source provides a visualization of structures placed close to the lens.
Picture from the endoscope can be observed directly or on the screen. Both the physician and the Patient can simultaneously watch the procedure, which can be recorded and further analysed and archived.
Nasal endoscopy does not require general anaesthesia. Usually we use local anaesthesia combined with topical decongestants to gain necessary space in narrow cavities.
Pic. 1 - Endoscopy of the healthy nasal cavity (source - drrahmatorlummc - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8eS9eSoVrI)
Endoscopy - how can it be used?
First of all, endoscopy provides a non-invasive head and neck diagnosis (nose and sinuses, larynx and ear). Secondly, modern surgical ENT techniques would not be possible without the endoscopes and adjusted endoscopic tools. Endoscopic procedures range from simple tissue sample acquisition to extensive skull base resections and reconstructions. With years and growing experience the indications for endoscopic procedures are wider recommended by international scientific societies.
Endoscopy - limitations
Costs - well equipped ENT endoscopic diagnostic and operative set costs about $50k.
Field of view is small and a drop of blood and obscure the whole operative area. There are systems which help cleaning the endoscopic lens but it is still not comparable with operating in the open field.
Good results of the endoscopic procedure by great means depend on endoscopic follow-up of the Patient. Only this instrumentation provides adequate precision in out-patient controls.
(c) 2008-2016 - Rafał Chmielewski