Cleaning Endoscopes

Get clinical answers to frequently asked questions about Cleaning Flexible Endoscopes.

  • Why should flexible endoscopes be visually inspected for integrity, function, and cleanliness?

    Visual inspection of flexible endoscopes, endoscope accessories, and equipment helps to identify structural damage, when and where the damage occurred, what caused the damage, and how to prevent further damage. Loss of function and gross soil that may affect further processing and patient outcomes can also be identified during visual inspection. Perioperative team members should visually inspect flexible endoscopes, endoscope accessories, and equipment:

    • before use
    • during the procedure
    • after the procedure
    • immediately after decontamination
    • before disinfection or sterilization


    • Recommended practices for cleaning and processing flexible endoscopes and endoscope accessories. In: Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices. Denver, CO: AORN, Inc; 2013:473-484.

    Updated January 28, 2013.