Notwithstanding the very great improvements made in urethroscopic instruments during the past few years, the urethroscopic field, in point of size, is still far from being entirely satisfactory. Since the invention of the original illuminating apparatus, little if any change has been made in urethroscopic tubes, though they have borne various names and been constructed of many different materials.
Glass from its transparency seemed especially adapted to this purpose, but the reflections from its surface and the changes produced by pressure on the mucous membrane, together with the danger of fracture if used in the deeper urethra, render it practically valueless. The discovery in 1870 of the great underestimation of the normal urethral caliber permitted the use of much larger tubes, with a corresponding increase in the size of the field; but the practical urethroscopic tube remained and still remains a simple straight tube.
In the year 1887 the late
OTIS WK. AËRO-URETHROSCOPY. JAMA. 1895;XXV(8):319–321. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430340019001h
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