(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday it had cleared medical equipment maker Pentax of America’s duodenoscope, which is designed to be easier to disinfect and clean than traditional devices.

The device is the first type of duodenoscopes with a disposable elevator component, a part of the device that has traditionally been difficult to clean and reprocess.

Duodenoscopes are a type of endoscope used to see the top of patient’s small intestines and are known to be difficult to clean as they have narrow channels and tiny crevices, which heightens the risk of infections in patients.

The FDA, in a push to make the devices safer, has in the past issued an advisory to makers of such devices to switch to scopes with disposable parts.

Pentax of America is a unit of Japan’s Hoya Corp.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)