Balloon Endoscopy
(Balloon Enteroscopy)

Back Pain Health Summary
Back pain may be caused by sciatica, a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, injury and pregnancy. Possible symptoms include pain that radiates down the legs, pain that gets worse with activity or at night, or numbness or weakness in the leg. Treatment may involve sleeping with a pillow between the knees or taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Introduction to endoscopy

The use of upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopes has revolutionized the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, and colon (large intestine). The last remaining frontier in the intestines has been the small intestine. Wireless capsule endoscopy allows physicians to visualize the inside of the intestines from the esophagus through to the colon, but capsule endoscopy has limitations, the most notable of which are the inability to control the capsule's passage and to perform therapy, such as biopsy and electrocautery. Although capsule endoscopy is likely to remain an important diagnostic procedure because of its simplicity, the limitations of capsule endoscopy have been overcome by the development of balloon endoscopy, also known as enteroscopy.

What is balloon endoscopy?

There are two types of balloon endoscopy: single balloon and double balloon.

Single balloon endoscopy

For single balloon endoscopy, a 200 cm long flexible, fiberoptic, endoscope (a hose-like tube one centimeter in diameter with a light and a camera on the tip) is fitted with an equally long overtube that slides the full length of the endoscope. On the tip of the overtube is a balloon that can be blown up and deflated. The balloon when blown up is used to anchor the overtube within the intestine. While the overtube is anchored, the endoscopy can be advance further into the small intestine. By withdrawing the overtube the small intestine can be shortened and straightened to make the passage of the inner endoscope easier. The balloon may then be deflated so that the overtube can be inserted further and the endoscope advanced again.The endoscope itself is a standard endoscope with working channels that allow the intestine to be inflated with air, rinsed with water, or to guide biopsy or electrocautery instruments to the tip of the endoscope.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/15/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Back Pain - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your back pain?
Back Pain - Cause Question: What was the cause of your back pain?
Low Back Pain - Prevention Question: What prevention measures do you use to avoid getting a low back pain?
Low Back Pain - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your low back pain?

STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!