Small bowel enteroscopy
Our world-leading gastroenterologists and expert nursing team provide a first-class enteroscopy service to diagnose and treat conditions of the small bowel.
A small bowel enteroscopy involves a long, thin, flexible tube (endoscope) being passed down your throat and all the way to your small bowel.
At the end of the tube are a camera and light that allow your consultant to look for anything that doesn’t look right in your small bowel.
This helps them to diagnose any conditions you may have, or identify something that’s causing you discomfort.
Your consultant can also attach tiny surgical instruments to the end of the endoscope to remove bowel polyps (a small clump of cells), stop bleeding and insert feeding tubes.
The benefits of an enteroscopy, compared to a traditional upper endoscopy (also known as an EGD), is that it allows your consultant to look further into your small bowel.
At The London Clinic, we offer our small bowel enteroscopy service in our calm and comfortable Endoscopy Unit.
Why choose The London Clinic
Excellence in one place
We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.
Personal care, every time
Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.
We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
What's included in your package?
Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
Your treatment package will include:
- Enhanced pre-admission assessment
- Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
- Personalised aftercare and follow-up
We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.
How to pay
- You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
- You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
- If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis
An enteroscopy may be done to look for:
- Polyps which keep returning
- Rare hereditary conditions, such as Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
- Familial adenomatous polyposis
Your consultant may also recommend an enteroscopy if you have:
- Unexplained bleeding from the bowel
- Digestive issues, including problems absorbing nutrients
- Diarrhoea that keeps returning
- Had a CT or MRI scan that’s revealed something not normally in your small bowel
You may also have a small bowel enteroscopy to:
- Insert a feeding tube if your stomach has been removed through surgery, or you have problems with food passing through your stomach, due to a blockage
- Stop bleeding in your small bowel
- Remove polyps before they grow too large or have the potential to become cancerous
Your small bowel enteroscopy will begin with your consultant giving you medication through a needle or tube inserted into a vein.
This medication reduces pain and discomfort and should make you feel less anxious. You should feel relaxed, but be awake during your procedure.
Your consultant may also spray local anaesthetic in the back of your mouth to numb your throat.
They’ll then insert a long, thin, flexible tube (endoscope) into your mouth. They may ask you to swallow to help the endoscope pass down your throat. You shouldn’t feel any pain at this point.
The tube is passed down your oesophagus (gullet), through your stomach and along the full length of your small intestine.
There is a small camera on the end of the endoscope that sends high-quality images to a computer screen.
Your consultant looks at the screen during the investigation to pick up on anything that doesn’t look right.
During the enteroscopy, your gastroenterologist may take a sample of body tissue (biopsy), remove bowel polyps and stop bleeding by cauterising (burning) tissue.
An enteroscopy usually lasts around 45 minutes, but this will depend on the amount of treatment you require.
To get ready for your enteroscopy, your consultant will usually ask you not to eat and drink on the day of your procedure.
This helps the camera at the end of the endoscope get clear views of your digestive tract.
However, your care team will discuss this with you and give you detailed guidance on what you can eat and drink before your procedure.
If you normally take medication or supplements, your care team will also discuss with you if you need to stop taking these and the best times to do so.
After your enteroscopy, you’ll recover in our calm and comfortable Endoscopy Unit until your sedative has worn off.
Some people experience wind and cramping pain, so our nursing team will offer you painkillers to ease any discomfort.
You’ll stay at The London Clinic until you’ve recovered well and feel ready to go home.
However, you’ll need someone to travel with you, and we recommend someone stays overnight with you as well.
We also advise that you don’t drink alcohol, drive, work or operate machinery for 24 hours, as you won’t be as mentally alert as usual.
Our world-leading gastroenterologists and experienced nursing team will work closely together to reduce any risk and support your safe recovery.
However, there are risks with any procedure, including a small bowel enteroscopy.
You may simply have a mild sore throat after your procedure, but a small number of people do experience side effects, such as:
The pancreas of less than 1 in 100 people becomes red, swollen and often painful.
This is more likely to happen if body tissue or a polyp is removed during the procedure. It affects about 1 in 100 people. The bleeding usually stops naturally, but your consultant may also stop it by burning (cauterising) the tissue that’s bleeding.
Around 1 in 1,000 enteroscopies lead to a tear in the bowel wall, and it’s more likely if a polyp is removed.
Your consultant will be able to discuss the results and what they have seen during your enteroscopy as soon as you feel able to chat.
They may also arrange an appointment to discuss the results of tests carried out on any body tissue removed during your procedure.
These results are usually available in three to four working days.
At this appointment, your consultant will also explain your diagnosis, discuss your treatment options and chat through any worries you may have.