Balloon assisted enteroscopy is a procedure which allows advancement of a long endoscope into the small intestine for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
The balloon assisted enteroscopy technique advances the endoscope through the small bowel by alternately inflating and deflating balloons, and bringing the small bowel to the endoscopist by pleating the bowel over an overtube, just like pulling a curtain over a rod.
The procedure can be performed via the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract (antegrade) or through the lower GI tract (retrograde).
The procedure requires sedation or anesthesia and may take several hours.
The procedure may be indicated for patients who have problems in the small intestine including bleeding, strictures, abnormal tissue, polyps, or tumors.
Therapies using the balloon assisted enteroscopy scope include treatment of bleeding lesions, dilation (stretching open) of strictures, removal of polyps or masses, biopsy of abnormal tissue, and removal of foreign objects.
Balloon Enteroscopy is a safe procedure with risks similar to those for colonoscopy or upper endoscopy (EGD).