An enteroscopy (also called a push enteroscopy) is a medical test that is used to look at the inside of the small bowel. It is a type of endoscopy procedure that may be used in the diagnosis and management of several different types of digestive conditions. This test is done using a special tool called a push enteroscope (or sometimes by using a pediatric colonoscope).
The enteroscope is a long, flexible tube with a camera on the end that is inserted through the mouth, down into the esophagus and stomach, and into the duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine). With the use of the enteroscope, a physician can actually see the inside of the digestive tract, including the stomach and small intestine, and take one or more small pieces of tissue (a biopsy) for study. In addition, because the small intestine is being accessed, it may be possible to administer therapy, such as removing a polyp.
Some enteroscopes have latex balloons in them and are used for double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) or single-balloon enteroscopy (SBE). The endoscope has another tube inside it that can be used to reach further into the small intestine. The balloons are used during the test to anchor the endoscope in the digestive tract.
This technique may help see further into the digestive tract, sometimes into the last part of the small intestine, which is called the ileum. These techniques usually require specialized training to administer and make take longer to complete.