An endoscope is a medical instrument used for visual examination of the interior of a body cavity or a hollow organ such as the colon, bladder, or stomach, and for laparoscopic surgery. It is a rigid or flexible tube fitted with lenses (like a camera), a fiber-optic light source, and often a probe, forceps, suction device, or other apparatus for examination or retrieval of tissue.
Endoscopy is a wonderful diagnostic tool. Essentially, endoscopic equipment allows us to look inside the body in a far less invasive manner than traditional surgical techniques. At our clinic, we use endoscopy most commonly to check the esophagus and stomach for obstructions or foreign bodies. We can also search for the cause(s) of chronic vomiting and diarrhea by looking in the stomach, colon or esophagus.
A routine ear examination using a hand-held otoscope could miss easily treatable problems. By using our in-clinic video otoscope, we are able to dramatically improve our visualization of the ear canal and provide better and more accurate treatment. Because it records images at a magnification of 15 times, we can even see ear mites right on the video screen!
Often we will perform biopsies (for example: liver, bowel, kidney) using endoscopic equipment because it is far less invasive than traditional surgical methods. We can even perform bladder stone removal endoscopically in many cases.
The main advantages of endoscopy are as follows:
- allows the veterinarian to look inside body cavities to search for disease
- allows for minimally invasive procedures resulting in quicker recoveries and fewer complications
- better diagnostics equals more accurate and better treatments = better pet health
- smaller incisions
- may be used for all animals including avians and exotics
To find out if endoscopy is right for your pet, speak with our staff and learn more about this innovative technology.