This information is approved and/or reviewed by U-M Health System providers but it is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for medical treatment. You should speak to your physician or make an appointment to be seen if you have questions or concerns about this information or your medical condition.| Complete disclaimer

Balloon-assisted Enteroscopy

Balloon-assisted enteroscopy is a visual examination of the small bowel using an instrument called an endoscope. The balloon allows the scope to pass further into the small bowel than previously possible. Depending on the type of problem you are having, the scope is inserted into either the mouth (called an upper endoscopy) or the rectum (called a lower endoscopy). The inflated balloons hold onto the sides of the bowel and a tube slides over the scope. This pleating action helps move the scope through the bowel. During this visual examination, your doctor may perform other minor procedures that will benefit you, such as taking a small piece of tissue for biopsy. Please note that biopsies are taken for many reasons and do not necessarily imply cancer.

Having this procedure will assist your doctor in making medical decisions and will also be beneficial in planning your overall medical care. The procedure takes about 2 hours. However, you should expect your visit to last 4 to 5 hours to allow for preparation and recovery time.

Preparing for your procedure

YOU MUST ARRANGE FOR A RESPONSIBLE ADULT (OVER 18) TO ACCOMPANY YOU from the endoscopy unit. The person accompanying you must remain in the unit during your entire visit so that they are available as soon as you are ready to be discharged. YOU WILL NOT BE DISCHARGED unless that person is in the unit.

Because your judgment can be impaired after this procedure, you WILL NOT BE RELEASED to public transportation, a taxicab driver, or even to walk home without another responsible adult to accompany you.

One week (7 days) before your procedure

*ReoPro (abciximab)
*Aggrenox (aspirin plus dipryridamole)
*Plavix (clopidogrel)
*Persantine (dipyridamole)
*Integrillin (eptifibatide)
*Ticlid (ticlopidine)
*Aggrastat (terofiban)

Two days before your procedure

One day before your procedure

The day of your procedure

Please refer to the handout, Instructions for Patients with Diabetes Having Outpatient Procedures

The procedure

In the reception or preparation area you will answer questions about your health history, current medicines and allergies. You will sign a consent form. After you change into a hospital gown, a nurse will start an intravenous line (IV). The IV is used to give you medication to make you more comfortable during the procedure. The procedure is performed in a room specially designed for endoscopic procedures. Equipment that will help the nurse and doctor monitor your heartbeat and breathing will be connected to you. Your throat will be numbed with a spray (for the upper procedure only) and you will be sedated before the doctor starts. You will be able to breathe normally and burp if needed during the procedure.

Potential complications

As with any medical procedure, there are potential complications associated with this procedure. These complications will be explained to you at the time you sign your consent for the procedure, if not before.


After your procedure you will be taken to the recovery area. One adult person who came with you to your procedure may join you there, if you wish. When you are ready to go home the nurse will discuss discharge instructions and answer your questions. You will be given a summary of findings for your procedure. You may NOT drive yourself home. Be sure to bring a responsible adult licensed driver with you. A responsible adult must be with you when you are discharged from the recovery area. We suggest a family member or friend stay with you for the remainder of the day.

Post-procedure instructions

Information provided by the UMHS Medical Procedures Unit, September 2009.