Reasons to Perform Enteroscopy
• unexplained anemia
• non-visible gastrointestinal bleeding
• small bowel tumors or polyps
• Crohn's disease of the small bowel

Small Bowel Enteroscopy

 

 

 

Patient Information on Small Bowel Enteroscopy

 

Overview

A small bowel enteroscopy is a procedure in which an endoscope of extra length is used to visualize the lumen and lining of the proximal portion of the small intestine.  It is used to diagnose and treat a variety of problems such as gastrointestinal bleeding and subsequent anemia.  Gastrointestinal bleeding most commonly arises from minute cluster of blood vessels known as an arteriovenous malformation and can be either visible or microscopic (invisible).   Additionally, any thickening or growths involving the wall of the small intestine identified by other means can be further evaluated with direct inspection and biopsy samples.  Because this procedure often requires special equipment and sometimes x-ray equipment it is performed at the hospital.  No special preparation is required with the exception of fasting overnight.  

FAQs

What happens during the procedure?

The patient experience is essentially the same as that with standard endoscopy of the stomach.  During the procedure you will be positioned on your left side.  Following the administration of conscious sedation, the endoscope is placed into the mouth and guided with direct visualization through the stomach into the small intestine as far as technically possible.  The examination typically lasts around 30 minutes.

Is the exam painful?

Generally, enteroscopy is not a painful procedure but mild discomfort can occasionally be experienced due to air put into the stomach and small intestine.   These symptoms are minimized with the administration of sedative medications used to provide comfort during the examination.  

How do I feel after the procedure?

The most common after effect from enteroscopy is a sensation of fullness in the abdomen.  This is a result of air which is placed into the small intestine during the procedure to allow for maximum visualization of the lumen of the small bowel.. This usually subsides within two to three hours after the exam is completed.  As with any type of endoscopic procedure, there will also be some degree of drowsiness.  Although often improved in an hour or so it will still be necessary for someone to drive you home as it can take up to a full day for all the effects of the sedatives to wear off.