ALEXANDER TSIARAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. ALEXANDER TSIARAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Endoscope image showing the removal of the top of a martini stirrer from the trachea (windpipe) of a young child, who had accidentally swallowed it. Endoscopes are rigid or flexible tubes which are used by doctors to see into and work inside body cavities. The endoscope uses fibre optics to convey a light source inside the body and is fitted with a lens to allow the surgeon an illuminated and magnified view. There is also an operating channel, through which surgical instruments may be worked by remote manipulation. Some flexible endoscopes used in paediatrics are only 3 millimeters in diameter, yet house a light source, lens & operating channel.
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