Double Balloon Endoscopy

Double Balloon Endoscopy is a procedure that enables your physician to examine the small intestine by slowly advancing a flexible endoscope with a tube on it (about the thickness of your finger) throughout the small bowel.

The endoscope may be inserted orally or rectally to give the physician the best access to the intestine.
Until recently, it was difficult for doctors to examine the small intestine. A new type of enteroscope created by Fujinon Inc. called the Double Balloon Enteroscope means that it is now possible to examine much further into the small bowel and in some cases offer treatment.

  • To visualize the small intestine
  • To remove tissue for biopsy
  • To remove small tumors and abnormal growths (eg: polyps)
  • To treat bleeding problems
  • To dilate stricture

The intestine must be completely empty of waste material for the procedure to be accurate and complete. You will be asked not to consume any food or liquids after midnight prior to your examination. If the procedure is to be performed rectally, your physician will likely give you an oral laxative and detailed instructions regarding preparation.

You should plan to arrive one hour before the scheduled time of the examination.
Leave all jewellery and valuables at home. A staff member will review your medical history and compile a list of all medicines you are taking for your chart. A Double Balloon Endoscopy will be performed under general anaesthesia. You will meet the anaesthetist who will answer any questions you may have regarding anaesthesia.

Most medications can be continued as usual. However, use of aspirin, anti-coagulants (blood thinners) and herbal dietary supplements should be discussed with your physician prior to the examination. Please inform your doctor about any allergies you may have.

Double Balloon Endoscopy is usually well-tolerated and rarely causes much discomfort. You will receive an anaesthetic by an anaesthetist and you will therefore be unaware of the procedure. You will be lying on your side as the small intestine is carefully examined. The procedure usually takes about 1.5 hours.

If the doctor sees an area that needs evaluation in greater detail, a biopsy may be obtained and submitted to a laboratory for analysis.

After the examination, you will be moved to the recovery room, where you will stay for about one hour. At first you will be very drowsy or sleepy. You may feel some mild cramping from air that has remained in the intestine during the examination. This will dissipate as air is released from your body.
In some instances, your physician may want you to stay for a longer observation period. If you are discharged on the same day, you should arrange for a ride home. Once you leave the hospital, you should be able to resume normal activities within a day or two.

Double Balloon Endoscopy and biopsy are generally safe when performed by physicians who have been specially trained and are experienced in these endoscopic procedures (like gastroenterologists). Possible complications include a perforation (tear through the bowel wall) and bleeding from the site of the biopsy.

Although complications after this procedure are rare, it is important for you to recognize early signs. Contact your physician if you notice any of the following symptoms: severe abdominal pain, fever and / or chills. It is important to note that some bleeding can occur several days after a biopsy.


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