Inspecting your Endoscope
Endoscopes are an important piece of equipment for your hospital or practice. They have the ability to thoroughly examine a patient’s anatomy, enabling difficult diagnoses and providing opportunities for therapeutic intervention to help treat and prevent a multitude of diseases, including cancer. However, a broken endoscope or an endoscope that isn’t working according to the manufacturer’s specifications can cost you both time and money. It can also affect a physician’s ability to conduct a thorough examination, and can potentially put a patient’s health in jeopardy.
While some endoscope damage isn’t preventable, other damage can be determined early on, which will give you time to have your equipment properly repaired. Early intervention is critical when it comes to endoscope repair, as small problems can lead to major, catastrophic damage to your endoscope over time. Taking care of those small problems promptly means shorter repair times and lower repair costs!
The following are a few things you can check and test for that could indicate damage to your endoscope.
- Check For Leaks: The most important step in reprocessing your endoscope after every procedure is the leak test. Fluid invasion is the single greatest cause of major endoscope damage, so careful and thorough leak testing after every procedure is critical to protecting your endoscope to ensure fluid is not getting inside your scope! By pressurizing the internals of your scope and submerging it in water, you will be able to test for any leaks that can allow for fluid to infiltrate the inside of your scope. A leak will cause bubbles to emerge from wherever the leak exists. A leak can emit bubbles ranging from small and slow/irregular to emerge to large and rapid releases.
- Check Your Endoscope’s Image: If you have static or distortion in your scope’s image, or the image appears blurry, too bright, or too dim, you could have problems from fluid inside your endoscope affecting the electronics including the CCD (camera) or the fiberoptic bundles that supply light to the end of the scope. Impact damage to the end of the scope can also affect the image due to the lenses that allow your scope to amplify light and help focus the camera to deliver a sharp, vibrant image. Foggy, static-filled, and distorted scope images can all be indicators of fluid invasion.
- Check Your Tubes: When you bend your scope or run your hands down the insertion tube and light guide tube, do you feel any ridges, dents or bite marks? All of these cause the internal material inside these tubes to break down, which puts pressure on the inner components. Over time this can lead to restrictions in the channels, strain on the angulation systems, and damage to the fiberoptic bundles inside the scope. This can also lead to a leak and fluid invasion, which is discussed below. To check for these problems, gently flex the entire length of the tubes while running your hands down the tube. If you see any ridges or small buckles as you flex the scope, or feel any dents, that tube may need to be replaced.
- Check for Air/Water Delivery: Air/Water delivery problems can occur when a scope isn’t cleaned properly after a procedure, if the nozzle that sprays water over the distal lenses is damaged, or if that nozzle is missing altogether. If you have a scope that has a forward/auxiliary water jet channel, failure to promptly clean and thoroughly flush this channel post-procedure can cause clogs and can pose a contamination risk to your patients. Check for these problems by connecting your scope to the video processor or light source and attach your water bottle and air/water valve. Turn on the pump and alternate the spray of air and water by pushing up and down on the valve for a few seconds at a time. If water does not spray out over the lens, or the spray is irregular or weak, your nozzle may be clogged. If you have a forward/auxiliary water jet channel, flush that channel using a pump or manually with a syringe. If water will not flow or is impeded from spraying freely, your channel may be clogged with debris or have a restriction. Also, be sure to check your air/water valve for tears or missing o-rings!
- Check for Clogged Channels: If you are unable to pass forceps, snares or cleaning brushes through your biopsy channel or suction channel during the procedure or when reprocessing, you could have a restriction or a clog in one of your channels. Small restrictions will only grow larger, which can cause the entire channel to become obstructed. Inability to safely advance a forcep, snare or grasper can impede a physician’s ability to intervene therapeutically, take biopsy samples, remove polyps and foreign bodies, and aspirate any contents obstructing visualization. To check this, gently coil the insertion tube and light guide tube into circles about 12″ in diameter, then slowly run a cleaning brush through your biopsy and suction channels. If you feel any resistance or snags when you advance the brush, that is likely a restriction or pinch in the channel. If a forcep or snare snags on that restriction, it can puncture the channel, causing a leak!
- Check for Broken Fibers: If you are using a fiberscope (a scope that uses a fiberoptic bundle to deliver the image through an eyepiece), inspecting the image for black dots, blurry areas or staining is critical to ensuring the physician’s ability to fully and reliably examine all areas of the anatomy. If you are using a video scope, you can hold the end of the scope up to light and look through the light guide prong to see if substantial portions of the fiberoptic light guide bundle are no longer relaying light through the scope. If the image appears dim, often times the fiberoptic bundle needs to be replaced.
The Professionals’ Choice for Repairs
Whether your endoscope is in need of immediate repair or simply needs a minor tune-up, Pro Scope Systems is your #1 proven, reliable source for top-quality repairs performed by expert technicians. You will be amazed by both the speed with which we get your scopes back in your hands and the amount of money you’ll save. At Pro Scope Systems, our repairs are performed in our state-of-the-art facility by our expert technicians. We pride ourselves in providing industry-leading turn-around times, without ever sacrificing the finest workmanship. We know that even the shortest turn-around times can still be a problem for your hospital or practice. To ensure that you always have enough scopes to perform all of your scheduled procedures, we provide our customers with free loaner scopes while their scopes are in for service.
Our quality work and unbeatable prices are backed by a 120 Day Warranty on parts and actual services performed and we can extend that warranty for up to two years!
Let us show you how much time and money you can save! Send in your scope today! Our evaluations are free of charge and repair estimates are generally issued the date the scope is received.