Enteroscopy is not an everyday vocabulary word, but it can be a source of questions and worry for the gastroenterology patient. To prepare you and put your mind at rest before your small bowel enteroscopy, read here about what the test does, what it can reveal, and how you can prepare for it. The more you know, the more empowered you will feel.
What Is a Small Bowel Enteroscopy?
Small bowel enteroscopy is an outpatient gastrointestinal procedure that digestive health specialists use to diagnose and treat many acute and chronic GI conditions. Using a thin tube (with attached light and camera) inserted through the mouth and into the stomach and small intestine, the gastroenterology specialist views the entire interior of the small bowel. The small bowel is a totalof 20 feet in length with an interior diameter of about one inch.
Safe and practical, the enteroscopy may be equipped with a double or single balloon. Either configuration compacts the small intestine and gradually returns it back to its full length, all the while allowing the doctor to inspect its highly vascularized interior.
What Can an Enteroscopy Procedure Detect or Treat?
With a small bowel enteroscopy, the gastroenterologist can detect signs of disease and structural defects. With the information gathered, the doctor formulates a very accurate diagnosis and plans treatment tailored to the findings and the patient’s overall health needs.
Small bowel enteroscopy can:
- Expand strictures or narrowings of the small bowel walls
- Remove tissue samples for biopsy
- Reveal tumors and polyps (benign growths that can be precursors of cancer)
- Remove foreign bodies
- Detect and cauterize areas of bleeding
Generally, these GI procedures are well-tolerated by patients and take under an hour to complete. Sedation keeps the fully monitored patient drowsy or asleep during the enteroscopy, and they fully awaken in a recovery area before receiving results from the doctor and returning home.
How Can I Prepare for My Small Bowel Enteroscopy?
Your GI team at inSite Digestive Health Care will instruct you on how to prepare for your test. For most people, this includes:
- A clear liquid diet and a laxative or enema cleanse the day before
- Fasting from food and drinks for 12 hours before the procedure
- Avoiding all vitamins and supplements as instructed by your physician
- Taking only the prescription medications deemed necessary by your doctor on the day of the enteroscopy
- Selecting a responsible adult to drive you to and from the GI clinic on the day of your procedure (the person must remain in the facility during the enteroscopy)
Small Bowel Enteroscopy at inSite Digestive Health Care
In California, inSite Digestive Health Care delivers the most up-to-date, reliable, and patient-focused gastrointestinal services. Our team includes 65 board-certified physicians practicing out of 30 state-of-the-art facilities. Experienced endoscopy physician Dr. Michael Madievsky practices out of our Tarzana, CA, office.
to learn more about small bowel enteroscopy or to arrange an in-office consultation. Or request a visit online. We are happy to serve people of all ages throughout California.