Double Balloon Enteroscopy

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What is double balloon enteroscopy?

Double balloon enteroscopy (abbreviated DBE) is a minimally invasive medical procedure that allows doctors to evaluate the small intestine (or small bowel). The procedure is also known as “deep” enteroscopy or “device-assisted” enteroscopy. During the procedure, a specially designed endoscope (which is a long, flexible tube with a camera at the end) is carefully passed into the small intestine. The double balloon system allows the endoscope to advance very deep into the small intestine – an organ that is approximately 20 feet in length! This technique allows doctors to diagnose and treat various conditions of the small intestine.

Why would someone need a double balloon enteroscopy?

Double balloon enteroscopy allows doctors to directly inspect and treat disorders of the small intestine. Diseases of the small intestine may cause symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, or bowel obstructions. Specific disorders that affect the small intestine including Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and small bowel cancers/tumors. Double balloon enteroscopy may help diagnose and treat these conditions.

How do I prepare for a double balloon enteroscopy?

You will be given detailed preparation instructions when you schedule your procedure. Double balloon enteroscopy may be done anterograde (through the mouth) or retrograde (through the anus). When done through the mouth it requires a period of being on a liquid diet and then fasting. When done through the anus it requires drinking a bowel cleanser to completely evacuate the bowels – just like for a colonoscopy.

Will I be awake during my endoscopy?

Double balloon enteroscopy is performed under sedation. An anesthesiologist administers medication to sedate the patient and ensure comfort and safety during the procedure. The procedure may take up to 90 minutes after which the anesthesiologist awakens the patient. It takes about one hour to recover from the sedatives and go home.

Can I go home after my procedure?

Yes, in almost all cases double balloon enteroscopy is performed on an “outpatient” basis and you can go home when the sedation wears off. You may feel drowsy, so you should plan to take it easy the rest of the day, and your throat may feel scratchy for a day or so afterward. You will be required to have someone pick you up and escort you home after the procedure.

By: New York Gastroenteroloy

Reviewed by: Steven Naymagon, MD


Last Reviewed: Apr 2nd, 2021

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