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Single Balloon Enteroscopy

A single balloon enteroscopy allows the gastroenterologist to see images of the patient’s small intestine, in real time. The endoscope (a thin hollow tube) for this procedure has an overtube attached with a balloon at the tip that can be inflated and deflated when inside the intestine, which allows the physician to get to areas of the small intestine not easily reached by traditional endoscopy and colonoscopy.

The endoscope can either be inserted through the patient’s mouth or rectum. The patient receives sedation and feels no discomfort during the procedure.


A single balloon enteroscopy not only visualizes the small intestine for the gastroenterologist, but also allows for therapeutic or treatment procedures to be performed while the patient is under sedation:

  • Biopsy (a tissue sample is taken for examination);
  • Polyp removal;
  • Stent placement;
  • Bleeding therapy.


The gastroenterologist will give the patient instructions for food and drink that can be consumed the day before the procedure. The patient cannot eat or drink the day of the procedure.

Medications can usually be taken (e.g. diabetes or blood pressure medication), but the patient should inform the doctor of all medications normally taken.

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by U.S. News & World Report

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