Gastroenterology took an enormous technical leap forward in the 1940’s, when Rudolph Schindler brought the interior of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to light with fiberoptic endoscopes. A field that had been closely tied to x-ray examination slowly began to evolve into a separate science as physicians adopted the new diagnostic instruments. When the first flexible fiberoptic instruments were employed in the early 1960’s, comfort and safety were added to the unparalled view of the digestive tract. The only missing feature was the ability to alter the interior structures in a therapeutic manner.

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