Borescopes –It’s Like Looking Through the Tunnel

Borescopes are visual inspection tools used on instruments that have a lumen that is hard to access because it is narrow or small.  Borescopes are also used to inspect inside an endoscope.

These small-diameter (less than 3mm) borescopes or inspection cameras can be used to inspect the endoscope's internal working channels during reprocessing. It is imperative to do a visual inspection during endoscope reprocessing to ensure high-quality cleanness and safety. The external portion of endoscopes can be inspected with optical magnifiers or video magnifiers/microscopes. The internal channels of endoscopes need a small-diameter borescope inspection camera for careful examination that can be visualized on a computer screen.

Common problems of the internal channels during endoscope (gastroscopes, colonoscopes, duodenoscopes, and  echoendoscopes) reprocessing and lumen cleaning are:

  • corrosion
  • cracks and scratches
  • physical damages
  • debris
  • discoloration
  • moisture
  • foreign objects like fiber, lint, brush bristles, and particles

All of these can compromise the health, care, and safety of the patient.

Not only can borescopes be used for endoscopes, they can also be used for inspection of the lumen of instruments.  The fiberoptic is placed down the lumen of the instrument and visualized on a screen.  Any bioburden, corrosion cracks,  damage, etc. can be visualized and if present, sent out for repair.  Any moisture, fibers, lint, etc. can be removed by reprocessing the instrument and re-inspecting it prior to sterilization.

Remember, it is important that staff are educated, trained, and competent on the use of the borescope.  Staff need to be aware of what they are looking at and for, and know what to do if any of the above issues are identified during inspection.  Also, ensure that the manufacturer’s information for use is available for the borescope.  This will include the care and cleaning instructions for this piece of equipment.

Please contact us for questions or more information at  704-573-4535 or

Courtemanche & Associates specializes in Healthcare Accreditation and Regulatory Compliance Consulting Services. With over 30 years of being in business and 100+ years of healthcare experience amongst our consulting team, we are ready to assist with your accreditation and regulatory compliance needs.

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