What is enteroscopy?

An enteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the small intestine, or small bowel.

During an enteroscopy, a thin, flexible tube carrying a camera is threaded through the mouth and into the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Variations on the enteroscopy include the single- and double-balloon methods, in which tiny balloons accompany the tube and inflate in the small intestine, giving the doctor a better view of the area. Capsule enteroscopy, in which a patient swallows a small capsule loaded with a camera. The camera records several hours of footage of the small intestine and transmits that data to a wireless device carried by the patient.

Enteroscopy often follows an abnormal x-ray, the appearance of tumors in the small intestines, unexplained diarrhea or unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding. The procedure can show a doctor abnormalities including irregularities in intestinal tissue, polyps or cancer, abnormally long blood vessels in the small intestine, swollen lymph nodes and ulcers. Those issues can indicate a range of gastrointestinal illnesses.

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