Balloon Assisted Enteroscopy

What is Balloon Assisted Enteroscopy?

Balloon assisted enteroscopy using the single balloon enteroscope (SBE) is a procedure which allows advancement of a specialised endoscope deep into the small intestine either via an antegrade (forward) approach from the mouth, or a retrograde (backward) approach through the anus.

This allows for visualisation and treatment of abnormalities within the small intestine, which have traditionally not been within reach of the standard endoscopes.

The technique requires specialised training and equipment, and SBE involves advancing the scope deep into the intestine by alternate inflation and deflation of balloons to pleat the bowel over the scope, akin to pulling a curtain back on the curtain rod.

Why is a Single Balloon Enteroscope needed?

SBE may be required to evaluate abnormalities in the small bowel often identified on imaging such as CT or MRI, or at video capsule endoscopy (Pillcam).  Abnormalities that may require SBE include bleeding lesions, masses or polyps in the small bowel, or assessment and dilatation of narrowing in the bowel from diseases such as Crohn’s or following surgery.  This instrument can also be used to reach the bile duct in patients who have had prior pancreatic or liver surgery.

How to Prepare

The preparation is the same as gastroscopy (antegrade) or colonoscopy (retrograde), and bowel preparation will be required for the latter. The risks are very low, similar to these routine procedures.  Specific risks that may relate to individual cases will be further discussed during your consultation.

Dr Gupta discusses SBE

Click through to hear Dr Gupta discuss SBE

Further Information

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