Double-Balloon Endoscopy

Digestive SystemOverview

When double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) debuted in 2001, it transformed endoscopic evaluation of the small intestine by allowing access to areas beyond the reach of conventional endoscopes.

What to expect

Unlike conventional push enteroscopy, which stretches and lengthens the bowel as the endoscope advances, DBE uses a push-and-pull technique that effectively shortens the intestine. This is achieved by alternately inflating and deflating two balloons — one mounted on a plastic overtube fitted over the endoscope and the other on the scope’s distal end — which pleat the intestine over the enteroscope as it progresses step-wise through the small bowel.

What can be found?

For the last decade, DBE has been successfully used to evaluate and manage gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, tumors and other small bowel disorders. It is now also increasingly used to evaluate the intestine, stomach and bile duct in patients with surgically altered bowel anatomy such as gastric bypass, Billroth II gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y anastomosis during liver transplantation.