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April 22, 1974

Fiberoptic or Rigid Tube

Author Affiliations

Allegheny General Hospital Pittsburgh

JAMA. 1974;228(4):462. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230290018014

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To the Editor.—  Palmer's commentary (227:511, 1974) on today's esophagologists merits comment. It is conceded that rigid esophagoscopy is superior to fiberoptic scoping in two ways: larger biopsies may be taken; and some foreign bodies can be removed more readily. Dilation of strictures via the rigid tube is rarely justified except as an initial venture done at the time of diagnostic esophagoscopy. From herein the advantage is clearly in favor of fiberoptic esophagoscopy. The superior large visual fields of the fiberscopes completely outclass the constricted distal images of the rigid scopes. There is more comfort to the patient, and spinal deformities can be negotiated that deny passage of the older scopes. And what rigid endoscopist does not cringe at the sight of a short neck on a husky patient? Breaking teeth is a rigidscope monopoly. As the lower esophagus prepares to enter the stomach, it deviates anteriorly and to the