An enteroscopy is a procedure that uses a specially equipped endoscope to examine your small intestine lining. It can help your healthcare provider diagnose and treat certain gastrointestinal conditions. There are several types of enteroscopy, including upper (through your mouth and throat) and lower (through your anus and rectum).
An enteroscopy is a nonsurgical procedure to examine the lining of your small intestine (small bowel). It can help your healthcare provider diagnose certain conditions without cutting into your belly (abdomen).
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Your healthcare provider can use an enteroscopy to view your entire small intestine, which lies between your stomach and your large intestine. An endoscopy views the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract (esophagus, stomach and the first part of your small intestine).
An endoscopy uses an endoscope, a tube with a light and camera on the end. But for an enteroscopy, the tool is also equipped with something to advance it deeper into your intestine.
Your healthcare providers may order an enteroscopy if they need to examine your small intestine lining. This may be necessary if you have:
Healthcare providers also can use the procedure to:
There are several types of enteroscopies. One difference involves where the procedure starts:
Another difference is the way the tool advances through your small intestine:
Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and upper enteroscopy are similar but not the same. For both, the endoscope is inserted through your mouth. EGD is used to examine the lining of your esophagus, stomach and the first part of your small intestine. An enteroscopy is used to view your entire small intestine.
For lower enteroscopy, you’ll probably have to do bowel prep, also called bowel cleansing. Your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions.
For upper enteroscopy, you shouldn’t eat or drink anything for several hours before the procedure. Your healthcare provider will explain the details.
For either procedure, you may need to stop taking certain medications, such as aspirin and blood thinners.
An enteroscopy procedure usually takes between 45 minutes and 2 hours.
During an enteroscopy procedure, your healthcare provider will:
Enteroscopy is an outpatient procedure, so you should be able to go home the same day. But you will need someone else to drive you home because you’ll be groggy from the anesthesia or sedation.
After the procedure, you may have some mild side effects, such as:
Enteroscopy procedures are generally safe, but there's a small risk of:
Your healthcare provider will schedule a follow-up appointment or call you with the results. This may be the same day or a day or two after the test. They’ll explain what they saw and recommend next steps.
After an enteroscopy, seek medical attention immediately if you experience any signs of a complication:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
An enteroscopy is a procedure healthcare providers use to look inside your small intestine. They may also be able to treat certain gastrointestinal problems. There are different types of enteroscopies, including upper (through your mouth and throat) and lower (through your anus and rectum). Your healthcare provider will help you understand what to expect.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/18/2022.
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