AIM: To prospectively evaluate the indications, methodology, safety, and clinical impact of double-balloon endoscopy.
METHODS: A total of 60 patients with suspected or documented small- or large-bowel diseases were investigated by double balloon endoscopy. A total of 103 procedures were performed (42 from the oral route, 60 from the anal route, and 1 from the stoma route). The main outcome measurements were the time of insertion and the entire examination, complications, diagnostic yields, and the ability to successfully perform treatment.
RESULTS: Observation of the entire small intestine was possible in 10 (40%) of 25 patients with total enteroscopy. The median insertion time was 122 min (range, 74-199 min). Observation of the entire colon was possible in 13 (93%) of 14 patients after failure of total colonoscopy using a conventional colonoscope. Small-intestine abnormalities were found in 20 (43%) of 46 patients with indications of suspected or documented small bowel diseases, obscure GI tract bleeding, or a history of ileus. Endoscopic procedures including tattooing (n = 33), bite biopsy (n = 17), radiographic examination (n = 7), EUS (n = 5), hemostasis (n = 1), polypectomy (n = 5), balloon dilatation (n = 1), endoscopic mucosal resection (n = 1) and lithotripsy (n = 1) were all successfully performed. No relevant technical problems or severe complications were encountered.
CONCLUSION: Double balloon endoscopy is a feasible technique that allows adequate small and large bowel examination and potentially various endoscopic procedures of small-intestinal lesions. It is safe, useful, and also provides a high clinical impact.