Enteroscopy is a diagnostic as well as a therapeutic procedure done with the help of an endoscope to find and treat the gastrointestinal problems. During the procedure, your physician inserts a flexible tube with a light and camera into your gut. An endoscope may also have one or two balloons attached to it that can be inflated to better see the narrow parts of the gut like the oesophagus, sphincters and antral part of the stomach. Your physician may use scissors or tweezers on to take a sample (biopsy) of tissue for further analysis.
Why Is Enteroscopy Performed?
This procedure makes it possible to see, evaluate and diagnose problems within the digestive tract. It is one of the most common procedures to detect abnormalities in the oesophagus, stomach, and first portion of the small intestine. It can be done for the following;
- Reduced bowel movements
- A high leukocyte (white blood cell) count
- Tumours in the small or large intestine
- Severe diarrhoea
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Malnutrition of unexplained origin
How to prepare?
You may need to follow following or more instructions to prepare yourself for the procedure:
- Stop taking blood-thinning medications like aspirin
- Avoid solid foods the night before the procedure
- Avoid drinking all liquids for 3-4 hours before the procedure
- Only drink clear liquids (water, fruit juices) the day of the procedure
What can you expect?
A positive endoscopic test may indicate abnormal tissue, polyp, internal bleeding or malignant growths in the intestine. Besides these, there can be other possible causes like:
- Crohn’s disease
- An infection due to the stomach or intestinal virus
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency
- Lymphomas (cancer of the lymph nodes)
- Whipple disease (an infection that prevents absorption of nutrients from the small Intestines)
Possible side effects
You might experience some mild side effects after the procedure. These include:
- A sore throat
- Mild cramping
- Minor bleeding
- Abdominal bloating