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LEARNING WEEK/ I lavori degli studenti sulle tecniche avanzate di diagnostica medica

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Applications of Technique of Examination of The Human Body in the Diagnostic Field/1 - An important technique used to find diseases or pathologies is endoscopy. This word comes from the Greek, endo and skopê which respectively mean “inside” and “look”, so it means “to look inside”. In order to go into the body doctors use a specific instrument called endoscope which consists of a rigid or flexible tube and a light delivery system to illuminate the organ or object under inspection. The light source is normally outside the body and the light is directed by an optical fiber system. Then there is a lens system transmitting the image to the viewer from the fiberscope and an additional channel to allow the entry of medical instruments.

 


This instruments comes from an evolution of two hundred years: the first endoscope was used in 1822 by William Beaumont; but his investigations were not satisfactory due to the fact that he hardly saw anything because the source of light he used was not strong enough since it was outside the body. Moreover, the tube was very rigid so patiences were forced to assume uncomfortable positions. Despite the tube inflexibility scientist found a way to investigate the stomach, the rectum and bronchi: the turning point was the discovery of optical fiber in 1950 which permitted to build a flexible endoscope and later to have a source of light inside the body situated on the edge of the tube in the lens system.

 


Nowadays endoscopy is used on a large scale because it allows to diagnose small tumor or polyps and to remove them at the same time. As a matter of fact, people who are older than 50 years have to take colonoscopy preventively to beseech this eventuality. The exam is quite tiresome but a little anesthesia permits to feel no pain. There is another type of endoscopy called laparoscopy, a surgery branch. This technique consists of doing little holes in which doctors introduce their instruments to operate on. Usually it is used when it is necessary to remove big tumors, appendix, gall bladder or hernia. These operations are so difficult that only very expert surgeons are able to do them.

 


The most fascinating aspect of endoscopy is that the whole body can be observed; indeed it can involve: the gastrointestinal tract, esophagus, stomach and duodenum, small intestine, colon, bile duct rectum and anus, the respiratory tract, the nose, the ear, the urinary tract, the female reproductive system, the cervix, the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the abdominal or pelvic cavity and organs of the chest.

 

(DI Giacomo Chieregato & Luca Casati- Classe IV - Liceo Scientifico Pier Giorgio Frassati)

 

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