Endoscopy (En-dos'co.py) is a form of examination of an internal cavity by way of a fiberoptic lens and remote light source. There are rigid or flexible endoscopes available. With the unique anatomy of the avian patient, rigid endoscopes are the best overall instrument of choice. The endoscope instrument is utilized through very small incisions made to enter the bird's body cavity. Visual examination and/or biopsy samples can be obtained from organs such as the liver, kidney, spleen, lungs, spleen, or the adrenal glands. The scopes have magnification and different viewing angles to aid in the observation of some of these small structures that do not lie in the direct axis of the scope.
The endoscope can also be used to enter the trachea, esophagus, crop, proventriculus (stomach), or ventriculus (gizzard) to retrieve inappropriate foreign items that have become lodged or ingested by the bird. Endoscopic cloacal (vent) examinations can be performed to better identify inflammatory conditions or obtain biopsy samples of tumors.
The best part, for those applicable situations, is the fact that the recovery time for the patient is much faster than a full surgical exploration. However, endoscopy in avian medicine for the most part is used more as a DIAGNOSTIC procedure versus a CURATIVE solution to a disease state.