Small Bowel Enteroscopy: All You Need To Know

Small bowel enteroscopy is also known as double bowel enteroscopy. In this procedure, an endoscope is used to navigate the physician and give a clear view of what is present in the small bowel either from an oral or rectal approach.

What is an enteroscopy?

Enteroscopy is the procedure of using an endoscope for the visualisation of the small intestine. This procedure uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a camera attached to it.

Contraindications for the procedure are medically unfit candidates. Such as people who have had extensive abdominal surgeries may be poor candidates due to adhesions or altered anatomy which might prevent the scope from passing through the canal.

Double balloon enteroscopy vs. a conventional endoscope

A double balloon enteroscopy is better than a conventional endoscope and allows for better visualisation and extensive examination of the abnormalities found in the intestine or so-called small bowel.

It does so by alternatively deflating and inflating the balloons and thereby pleating the small intestine over the tube like a curtain. Accessories such as biopsy forceps, dilating devices and cautery probes can be passed through channels making it useful for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

A double balloon procedure might be recommended to you if you have the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anaemia

Double balloon enteroscopy or small bowel enteroscopy is also used for diagnostic purposes such as gastrointestinal bleeding, tumours, polypoidal diseases, inflammatory bowel disorders, and celiac disease.

Therapeutic purposes include; treatment of bleeding lesions, dilatation od strictures, removal of polyps and removal of foreign objects.

Anaesthesia for small bowel enteroscopy 

Precautions may need to be taken before the procedure as advised by your general physician. Double balloon enteroscopy is usually performed under general anaesthesia with an intubation method. It is a short procedure but makes sure you have someone to drive you back home after the procedure is over.

Procedure for small bowel enteroscopy / double balloon enteroscopy

The procedure lasts usually 45mins to 2 hours and is usually an outpatient procedure. You need not stay back overnight. During the procedure, your doctor may record a video or take pictures for a detailed review. Your physician may take biopsies, remove polyps or cauterize potential bleeding sites or perform other therapeutic procedures.

Post- enteroscopy care

The procedure carries a very minimal risk of rupture of the intestine or further bleeding which can be addressed easily. The whole procedure may be completed within 90 minutes. You may experience a sore throat after the procedure. Your gastroenterologist will discuss, about their findings and provide you with a copy of the report. After the recovery period, most patients will be able to go home and usually eat right away. Diet or medication restrictions may be given to certain patients depending on the findings and discharge instructions are given to take home.

At Chennai Laser Gastro, a special extensive check-up before proceeding with any procedure will be done for the patient providing utmost care and satisfaction.

Dr. Karthik Gunasekaran