Endoscope with attachments, England, 1875-1885
A physician uses an endoscope to look into body cavities. This is to examine a patient and diagnose disease. Specialised endoscopes have different designs and names according to what part of the body they look at, for example the throat, rectum or bladder. This endoscope comes with attachments, called specula. These are for aural, rectal or urethral use. An endoscope uses a light source, in this case a lighted wick, to illuminate the cavity via reflective surfaces. The light bounces off an angled mirror inside the endoscope. This projects the light and enables the physician to see into the body. In 1865, British physician John Brunton (1835–1899) described using a modified endoscope or ‘auriscope’ to examine the ear. This instrument is a development of Brunton’s auriscope (see A647320).
Related Themes and Topics
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Glossary: genito-urinary medicine
The branch of medicine dealing with the genital and urinary organs.
Glossary: diseases of the ear, nose and throat
an instrument to look at the internal parts of the body. The modern endoscope is a flexible, fibreglass instrument that can be swallowed by a patient or introduced through a tiny incision in the body.