The flexible endoscope is an essential diagnostic tool for many otolaryngologists. It is a very expensive tool, used daily. Therefore, It is important to buy the right endoscope, which will last for a long time, and provide you the best images and comfort for both you and your patients. Ori Danel, ALL 2 MD website founder, provide 5 tips for buying a great flexible endoscope which will do just that.
Buy a portable flexible endoscope with a detachable light cable
Buying a flexible laryngoscope with an integral light guide cable limits you to use only a standalone light source, and hence confine you to make only in clinic procedures and within a limited distance from where your video and light are located. Buying a portable flexible endoscope gives you all the freedom you need – you can either use it as a portable endoscope with a portable lightweight light source, or connect it to a standalone light source with a detachable fiber cable. Also consider that when there is a damage to a light cable in the integral light cable scope (either accidental damage or wear & tear)– the damage cost of repair can be extremely high, sometimes thousands (!) of euros to repair, while in a portable endoscope- only the light cable needs to be replaced at a low cost (less than 250 EUR).
Buy a flexible scope with a diameter of no more than 3.4 mm and no less than 2.8mm
A Diameter of more than 3.4mm is less comfort to the patients, up to the point that they may refuse to perform the procedure. High diameter also limits the procedures one can perform- as in the case of a deviated septum. On the other hand, diameter of less than 2.8 (2.4 or 2.20 ) is also not recommended – these scopes are very expensive, delicate and easy to break, and provide a smaller image with less illumination. 2.8mm should be sufficient for common pediatric use.
Add the correct light guide connector, preferred STORZ
Always make sure you order the right light guide cable to fit your light source. Using the wrong adaptor reduces illumination, can damage your scope severely, and put you in danger of a serious burn. If you do not have a standalone light source yet, choose STORZ light guide connector which is the most common worldwide.
Add a LED light source, min 100W
LED is the ideal light for flexible endoscopy and is now, more than ever, available and affordable. LED bulb will last for a very long time (up to 50,000 hour) , while XENON and Halogen will often need the replacement of the bulbs– xenon bulbs are very expensive and Halogen tech is an old and obsolete technology. Always go with min 100W. In time it will compensate for the loss of fibers inside the scope, while with less than 100W, in time, the light won't be sufficient.
Don't buy a used flexible endoscope
Good quality used scopes are rarely sold- as they can still be used. They also do not have any reasonable warranty. You may find yourself after a short time of usage in the need of an extensive and high cost repair. It is very hard to know the condition of the used scope in advance, and looks can be extremely deceiving. Nowadays new flexible scopes are affordable and have 24 months warranty.