Enteroscopy, also called push enteroscopy, is a procedure that examines the small intestine, a very long area of small bowel located between the stomach and colon (large intestine) and made up of the duodenum, jejunum and ileum. The first few feet of the small intestine ‒ the duodenum and first portion of the jejunum ‒ can be examined by using this longer endoscope (enteroscope), where the instrument is introduced through the mouth and slowly advanced through the stomach, duodenum and into the jejunum by a gentle pushing action.

Your gastroenterologist may recommend this procedure if there is a suspected abnormality in the upper portion of your small bowel that may be causing recurrent or persistent symptoms, including:

  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • bleeding
  • anemia

This advanced procedure is often used as a follow up to other diagnostic testing such as upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, capsule endoscopy or radiology imaging tests.

Inform your physician of any special needs, medical conditions (such as a defibrillator) or current medications you are taking that may require advanced planning prior to undergoing the procedure.

How to Prepare for Enteroscopy

  • No food or liquids for a minimum of 6 hours prior to the procedure.
  • You may also have other diet and/or medication restrictions prior to the exam. Please refer to your gastroenterologist’s detailed instructions.
  • Plan to take the day off from work for the exam.
  • Plan to have someone you know drive you home. Since the procedure is performed with sedation, you will be instructed to not drive a car or return to work until the next day.
  • The GI Lab staff will attempt to contact you the evening before your procedure to answer any questions you may have.

What to Expect Once You Arrive for Enteroscopy

  • Plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You will have an intravenous line placed, since the procedure is performed with sedation.
  • You will be asked if there is a responsible person to drive you home after the exam.
  • The procedure usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Patients usually lie on their left side.
  • During the procedure, your physician may take biopsies (small tissue samples), remove polyps or cauterize lesions (abnormalities) that may be the source of bleeding.

What to Expect After Enteroscopy

  • After the procedure is completed, you will recover for about 30 to 45 minutes.
  • You may experience a sore throat after the procedure.
  • Once you have met the discharge criteria, your gastroenterologist will discuss with you the preliminary findings and provide you with a copy of the exam report.
  • After the recovery period, patients are able to go home and usually eat right away.
  • Diet and/or medication restrictions may be given to certain patients depending on the findings of the exam.
  • Patients are provided discharge instructions to take home.

For More Information

Enteroscopy is available at all of our GI lab locations. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists, please call 888.364.6400.

NorthShore offers interpretive language services for non-English speaking patients. A request for this no-cost service should be made at the time of appointment scheduling.

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