Optical fibers have made methods easier for physicians and procedures less invasive for patients. They let doctors view and work inside the body, requiring only small entryway incisions and no surgery. Endoscopes, for example, use optical fibers to let physicians inspect the insides of hollow organs in the body. An endoscope typically employs two types of optical fibers: a central bundle of complex ("coherent") fibers transmits the image from inside the body, while an outer circle of simple ("incoherent") fibers projects enough light inside the body cavity to make the image visible. Sometimes, a third set of fibers transmits a laser beam, which can be used to perform small-scale operations within organs or tissue. Physicians also can measure body temperature and blood chemistry using optical fiber.
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