Enteroscopy is a treatment that allows your doctor to diagnose and treat digestive system disorders. Your doctor will inject a tiny, flexible tube into your body with a camera attached during an enteroscopy. This is known as an endoscope. The endoscope normally has one or two balloons attached to it. Your doctor can inflate the balloons to gain a better look into your esophagus, stomach, and a part of your small intestine. On the endoscope, your doctor may use forceps or scissors to extract a tissue sample for analysis.
Enteroscopy is also known as a:-
- double-balloon enteroscopy
- double bubble
- capsule enteroscopy
- push-and-pull enteroscopy
The two types of enteroscopy are upper and lower. In an upper enteroscopy, the endoscope is inserted into the mouth. In a lower enteroscopy, the endoscope is inserted into the rectum. The type of enteroscopy performed will depend on the type of problem the doctor is trying to diagnose. Your doctor will let you know in advance which type you need.
WHY IS ENTEROSCOPY PERFORMED?
Without requiring an incision, enteroscopy allows doctors to identify and evaluate disorders inside the body. It’s frequently used to diagnose problems in the small intestine or stomach. If you experience any of the following symptoms, your doctor may consider an enteroscopy:-
- a high white blood cell count
- tumors in the small intestine
- blocked bowel passages
- abnormal gastrointestinal bleeding
- intestinal damage from radiation treatment
- unexplained severe diarrhea
- unexplained malnutrition
- abnormal X-ray results
You will receive instructions from your doctor on how to prepare for the procedure. Make sure you pay attention to them. You may need to:-
- Stop using aspirin or other blood-thinning drugs,
- Avoid solid foods and milk after 10 p.m. the night before the procedure
- Only drink clear liquids the day of the procedure
- For at least four hours before the surgery, avoid any liquids.
HOW IS ENTEROSCOPY PERFORMED?
An enteroscopy is an outpatient procedure, which means you can leave the hospital the same day. It takes anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours to complete.
Your doctor will either fully sedate you or give you drugs to help you relax, depending on the type of enteroscopy being performed. These drugs will be given to you through a vein in your arm.
Your doctor will film a video or take images of the process. These can be reviewed in further depth when the procedure is completed. Your doctor may also obtain tissue samples or remove tumors that are already present. There will be no discomfort associated with the removal of any tissue or tumor.
After numbing the throat, your doctor will insert an endoscope into your mouth and gradually ease it through your esophagus and down into your stomach and upper digestive tract. You may have a feeling of pressure or fullness during this part of the procedure.
Throughout your upper enteroscopy, you’ll have to remain alert. Your doctor may need you to swallow or move to help get the tube in place. If any growths or other abnormalities are found during this, your doctor may remove a sample of tissue for further examination.
Once you’re sedated, your doctor will insert an endoscope with a balloon on the end into your rectum. Once the endoscope reaches the area that your doctor wants to see or treat, the balloon is inflated. This allows your doctor to get a better view. If any polyps or abnormal growths are found, your doctor may remove a tissue sample for analysis.
This procedure is also called a colonoscopy.
After the procedure, you might experience some mild side effects. These include:
- a sore throat
- abdominal bloating
- minor bleeding
- mild cramping
After an enteroscopy procedure, some patients may experience complications. Pancreatitis, internal hemorrhage, and ripping off the small intestinal wall are among them. Some people may experience adverse reactions to anesthesia. This is why this is normally avoided by pregnant women, persons who are overweight, and people who have heart or lung illness.
Make sure to call your doctor immediately if you’re experiencing:
- more than a few tablespoons of blood in your stool
- severe stomach pain
- a firm, swollen stomach
- a fever
What Does an Abnormal Enteroscopy Mean?
Abnormal results may indicate that the doctor discovered tumors, abnormal tissue, or bleeding in the small intestine. Other possible causes for an abnormal enteroscopy include:-