Endoscopy - Periscopes for the inner worlds of the body

With periscopes you can not just peek unnoticed around the corner in the neighbor's garden, but also explore the inner life of a body. Endoscopy has gained a firm place in medical diagnostics and therapy in recent decades. Thousands of years ago, the first physicians tried to get an idea of ​​the state of their patients' health, not just by looking at them externally. For the first time, they used catheters to deflate the bladder and had the idea that through these natural orifices, one could gain insight into the inner workings of a living human being.

Since then, not only has a lot of time gone by, but the methods of illuminating human interiors and detecting diseases have been revolutionized by new technological possibilities, and in turn have revolutionized medical diagnostics and therapy. The endoscopy, that is reflections of body cavities, from the Greek - endo stands for inside, skopie means looking around.

A short history of endoscopy

Already in ancient Egypt, catheters made of bronze or tin were introduced into the bladder 3000 years before Christ. The Greek physician Hippocrates examined 400 BC with so-called "speculums" mouth, vaginal and rectum area. These were simple rigid tubes that used to spread the body orifices and probably did not cause any outbursts of excitement in the patient. In addition, they made possible neither a deeper penetration nor a good illumination of the examination room.

Sufficient illumination has long been the problem of inquisitive physicians: they tried to bring light from candles by means of mirrors into the darkness of the patients, hence the still common German name of the examination method: reflection. It was not until the invention of the incandescent lamp, patented by Edison in 1879, that it was possible to provide so much light to the human's hollow organs that the thin optical instruments inserted through the orifices returned highly visible images to the doctor.

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