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Balloon Enteroscopy at Drexel Gastroenterology

Digestive System Highlight

Drexel Gastroenterology performs balloon enteroscopy on patients who may have abnormalities in their small bowel. Balloon enteroscopy is used mainly to investigate gastrointestinal bleeding and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

If prior examinations of the small intestine using capsule endoscopy or radiographic studies report an abnormal result, balloon endoscopy can be the next step to further investigate causes of a patient's symptoms. Other uses of balloon endoscopy are tissue biopsies, stricture dilation, polyp removal, and to stop bleeding from the small intestine.

What to Expect During Balloon Enteroscopy

During balloon enteroscopy, a scope is inserted into the patient's mouth and fed through the stomach into the small bowel so that the doctor can get a first-hand look at any areas of concern. Alternately, the scope can be fed through the rectum to allow for study of the end of the small bowel. In both cases the patient is sedated. Because patients' judgment can be impaired after this procedure, they will not be released to public transportation, a taxicab driver, or even to walk home without another responsible adult to accompany them.

The risks associated with balloon enteroscopy are similar to those for colonoscopy and upper endoscopy (EGD) and include bleeding, perforation, and complications of sedation. There also is a less than one percent risk of bowel obstruction and/or inflammation of the pancreas with the balloon enteroscopy procedure.

The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.

The images being used are for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted is a model.

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