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Endoscopic training involves learning how to use an endoscope effectively to examine the human body internally, conduct internal surgeries and perform biopsies. An endoscope is a long, flexible medical tool equipped with a light and a video camera that is inserted into the human body. The endoscope can be maneuvered around once inserted and transmits images to a television or computer screen so the physician can examine internal organs and tissue. Often used as an aid in diagnostics, the endoscope also records the session, allowing medical staff to examine the procedure and transmit it to other members of the healthcare team not present during the procedure. Training in endoscopy usually comprises the majority of training in gastroenterology.
Competence is expected of physicians performing endoscopy in a number of key areas. These areas include colonoscopy, gastrointestinal endoscopy, endoscopic surgery techniques, diagnostics and biopsies. Specialized areas of endoscopic training include endoscopic ultrasounds, paediatrics endoscopy, bronchoscopy and endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography, to name a few. Aside from learning how to use an endoscope to perform various procedures, such training will include learning how to clean and disinfect the instrument and the additional tools used during various procedures as well as how to document those actions appropriately. Preventing, recognizing and treating infections resulting from an endoscopy is a topic covered during training as well.
During most endoscopic training programs diagnostics is one of the key areas of concentration. Diagnostics is one of the main functions of endoscopy and is useful in confirming diagnosis for a number of ailments. Such ailments may include urinary tract infections, internal bleeding, breathing problems, bowel problems and stomach ulcers.
Surgery is another important part of endoscopic training, and such techniques range from basic surgical procedures to advanced procedures often reserved for specialized areas of endoscopy. Removing foreign objects lodged internally in the human body is one procedure most physicians will learn in endoscopic training. Other surgical techniques learned often include gallbladder removal, tying fallopian tubes, and removing small tumors. Advanced surgery techniques will included learning how to attach specialized tools to the endoscope and use them to perform surgery.
Performing biopsies is also an important area of focus to help diagnose cancer. Physicians learn how to use the endoscope to take tissue samples, which then can be analyzed to determine whether the tissue is cancerous. In many cases, using the endoscope to perform a biopsy allows the patient to forego invasive surgery, which often is more costly and time-consuming.
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