Endoscopy is a minimally invasive medical procedure and is often used to examine a part of the body to confirm a diagnosis when other devices, such as an MRI, X-ray, or CT scan are considered inappropriate.
Furthermore, via an endoscopy samples of tissues (such as the lungs and intestines) can be taken without the need for major surgery.
Some surgical procedures can be carried out with a modified endoscope, such as the removal of small superficial tumours.
Flexible endoscopes are needed to thoroughly examine the depths of tubular structures that turn corners (e.g. stomach, intestine, bronchial tree, and male canine urethra), but rigid endoscopes are more convenient for examining nontubular structures, such as the abdominal cavity, thoracic cavity, or joint spaces.