Balloon Assisted Enteroscopy

Balloon Assisted Enteroscopy may be recommended to exam deep into the small intestine.

What is a Balloon Assisted Enteroscopy?

Balloon assisted or “deep” enteroscopy is a procedure which can allow advancement of a long endoscope through the mouth and into the small intestine. It allows your doctor to examine the walls of your lower gastrointestinal tract. This endoscope has a balloon that helps to assist in examining lower in the intestinal tract than a traditional endoscope.

Why is Balloon Assisted Enteroscopy done?

The Balloon Assisted Enteroscopy provides your doctor with more information by his ability to examine deeper into the gastrointestinal tract. Your doctor may suspect a lower gastrointestinal bleed that is deeper than what a traditional upper endoscopy can reach. Other indications for Balloon Assisted Enteroscopy are strictures, abnormal tissue, polyps or tumors.

Your doctor can treat bleeding of the intestine, remove polyps, biopsy (small tissue sample), and remove any foreign objects.

What preparations are required?

An empty stomach allows for the best and safest examination, so you should have nothing to eat or drink, including water after midnight the day before your procedure. Tell your doctor in advance about any medications you take; you might need to adjust your usual dose for the examination. Discuss any allergies to medications as well as medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease.

Can I take my current medications?

Most medications can be continued as usual, but some medications can interfere with the preparation or the examination. Inform your doctor about medications you’re taking, particularly aspirin products or antiplatelet agents, anticoagulants (blood thinners such as warfarin, coumadin, heparin, clopidogrel, plavix), insulin or iron products. Also, be sure to mention any allergies you have to medications.

What happens during Balloon Assisted Enteroscopy?

You will lie on your side, and the anesthesia department will sedate you for your procedure. Your doctor will pass the enteroscope through your mouth, esophagus, stomach and deep into the small intestine. The enteroscope doesn’t interfere with your breathing.

What happens after Balloon Assisted Enteroscopy?

You will be monitored until most of the effects of the medication have worn off. Your throat might be a little sore, and you might feel bloated because of the air introduced into your stomach during the test. You will be able to eat after you leave unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

Your physician will explain the results of the examination to you, although you’ll probably have to wait for the results of any biopsies performed.

Someone must drive you home and stay with you after the procedure. Even if you feel alert after the procedure, your judgment and reflexes could be impaired for the rest of the day.

What are the possible complications of upper endoscopy?

Although complications can occur, they are rare when doctors who are specially trained and experienced in this procedure perform the test. Bleeding can occur at a biopsy site or where a polyp was removed, but it’s usually minimal and rarely requires follow-up. Perforation (a hole or tear in the gastrointestinal tract lining) my require surgery but this is a very uncommon complication. Some patient might have a reaction to the sedatives or complications from heart or lung disease.

Although complications after balloon assisted enteroscopy are very uncommon, it’s important to recognize early signs of possible complications. Contact your doctor immediately if you have a fever after the test or if you notice trouble swallowing or increasing throat, chest or abdominal pain, or bleeding, including black stools. Note that bleeding can occur several days after the procedure.