Double Balloon Enteroscopy
Double balloon enteroscopy (DBE) is a relatively new procedure that lets doctors see inside the entire small intestine. It may also be called push-pull enteroscopy. Balloons attached to an endoscope are inflated, giving doctors a view of areas unreachable by traditional endoscopes. Using this technique doctors can take biopsies or give treatments that are found using capsule endoscopy.
Doctors may recommend a double balloon enteroscopy to help diagnose diseases of the small intestine, or to follow up after abnormal x-rays, small-intestine tumors, unexplained diarrhea, or unexplained bleeding in the GI tract.
Preparation for a Double Balloon Enteroscopy
If you are having an upper double balloon enteroscopy, in which the scope inserted through your mouth, don’t eat food or drink water for six hours before the test. If you are having a lower double balloon enteroscopy (inserted through the rectum) you may need to cleanse your bowel before the procedure. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to do this.
You should stop taking iron supplements and aspirin for a week before the DBE is performed.
On the day of the procedure, you will be given a sedative or short-acting general anesthesia to make you comfortable.
After the Procedure
If tissue samples (biopsies) are removed during the enteroscopy, they will be sent to a laboratory for examination under a microscope to see if there are any abnormal cells.
After the DBE is completed, you should have someone else drive you home, because it will take a while for the anesthesia to wear off.
You should talk with your doctor about when to start taking your regular medicines after the test.
Possible Complications of a Double Balloon Enteroscopy
Possible complications are:
- Bleeding from any biopsy or polyp removal. This usually is minimal, and stops very soon or is easily controlled.
- A hole (perforation) or tear can occur from the endoscope. While serious, this problem is rare.