Evolution of Endoscopy With Disposable Endoscopes

The concept of disposable endoscopes has acquired tremendous popularity with recent cases of endoscope-induced infections, often related to the use of duodenoscopes. In addition, manufacturers of endoscopic and endoscopic products have invested much time and money in creating disposable endoscopes and endoscope tips. The United States, in August 2019 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that "health care facilities and manufacturers start moving to duodenoscopes with disposable components to reduce the risk of infection in patients.

All about endoscopy and disposable endoscopes

Endoscopy is a minimally invasive technique that uses an illuminated tubular instrument to allow physicians to examine a hollow organ, passage, or body cavity. Unlike non-invasive diagnostic procedures, endoscopes are inserted directly into the body to perform an internal examination of the patient and to diagnose or track health conditions in the esophagus, stomach, lungs, mouth, nose, throat, heart and urinary tract.

Field complaints to the FDA change the dynamics of the industry which affect endoscopes use and reuse. Health care facilities are introducing new sterilization procedures to avoid inadvertent transmission of microbial pathogens from patient to patient to counter the increasing occurrence of infections acquired through the use of infected endoscopes.

Nevertheless, the suggested enhanced sterilization procedures require specialized cleaning equipment and chemicals for decontamination, and the time and expense needed to maintain reusable endoscopes are increased. The FDA has also recommended that health care facilities and manufacturers start moving to duodenoscopes with disposable components to reduce patient infection risk. Disposable endoscopes, however, produce more biohazardous medical waste which is a threat to the environment and can impede adoption in some markets.

Some of the common disposable endoscopes applications:


Bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows doctors to look at the passages in your lungs and air. A doctor who specializes in lung diseases (a pulmonologist) usually conducts this procedure. A thin tube (bronchoscope) goes through your nose or mouth, down your throat, and through your lungs during bronchoscopy. Most generally, bronchoscopy is performed using a flexible bronchoscope. Nevertheless, a rigid bronchoscope can be required in some cases; such as if there's a lot of bleeding in your lungs or if a big object is trapped in your airway.

GI endoscopy

Gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy has undergone many revolutionary transformations since its initial application, helping to extend the spectrum, protection, precision, acceptability, and cost-effectiveness of this field of clinical practice. This explains the advancement and clinical use of the three major areas of miniature GI endoscopy (ultrathin endoscopy, wireless endoscopy, and fiber scanning endoscopy).

The opportunities these innovations offer are illustrated in a clinical sense, as are their current limitations. Many of the positive aspects of miniature endoscopy are clear, as smaller devices provide access to potentially all of the food channel while providing high acceptability for patients.

ENT Endoscopy

Nasal endoscopy is a way of looking through the nose and sinuses. Using nasal endoscopy, the source of cough, sinus pain, or discomfort, or nosebleeds is determined. Your health-care provider can examine or remove a polyp, lesion, or foreign object during nasal endoscopy. During endoscopy, a tissue or fluid sample may be obtained and sent to a laboratory for examination.

In Otorhinolaryngology, flexible nasendoscopy is a significant part of the diagnostic process. Flexible nasendoscopies of the upper aerodigestive tract come in direct contact with mucous membranes. Suitable and efficient disinfection is therefore essential to avoid iatrogenic infection and cross-contamination.

Technological advancements in endoscopy

Advances and technical breakthroughs have created a revolution in the field of endoscopy and abdominal imaging, and have progressed beyond the standards of conventional imaging methods and exploratory surgery. Recently, growing progress has been made in endoscopic technologies such as improving the source of illumination, narrow-band imaging, and visualizing the characterization of vascular and tissue with an emphasis on managing infections for more precise diagnoses.

Recently, the emphasis seems to be less on enhancing image quality, and more on performance and cleanliness. Design and testing of single-use video endoscopes, as well as a disposable sheath prototype for both a gastroscope and a colonoscope, is conducted in response to current incidents involving cross-contamination with the traditional endoscope. This endoscope enables complete isolation of the scope enclosed with a disposable sheath system itself.

The disposable sheath device contains a sheat cover and cuff that integrates all functioning channels for suction, irrigation, and passage of equipment. This allows discarding the contaminated part of the procedure, the disposable sheath, after use by the patient, reducing the risk of endoscopic cross-contamination of the bioburden and infections. As for the single-use endoscope, the entire instrument is discarded upon completion of the operation.

Flexible endoscopes for gastroenterology and pulmonology continue to develop along numerous dimensions to meet doctors' overlapping needs for improved access to hard-to-reach areas of the anatomy, better image quality, and advanced visualization modes, more ergonomic handling, and reliability that can hold up under intense day-to-day usage. Important developments have also been made in technologies of versatile reach.

To sum up

A growing number of policy and regulatory approvals drive market accessibility of disposable endoscopes; this in turn significantly impacts the market growth. One of the significant metrics that motivate the increase in the number of product approvals is the fears and issues of regulatory bodies regarding the protection of reusable scopes.

Free Valuable Insights: Global Disposable Endoscopes Market to reach a market size of USD 2...

The growing incidence of reprocessing failures and non-compliance with the reprocessing guidelines also makes a major boost within the disposable endoscopes market. Growing nosocomial infections due to infected endoscopes are a major factor that triggers the growth and demand for disposable endoscopes. It is also expected that new advances in disposable endoscopes, primarily colonoscopies, and bronchoscopes, will have a substantial effect on market growth over the next few years.

As time progresses, so does the technology. Newer versions of the devices are introduced each year, which are smarter, smaller, lighter, and more reliable than before. Recent technological improvements have paved the way for miniaturized and removable endoscopes. In addition, as demand for groundbreaking technologies increases, in the near future, new versions of endoscopes including capsules and robot-assisted endoscopes will be gaining traction.

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