Single Balloon Enteroscopy

A single-balloon enteroscopy is a procedure that uses an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera) to view your child’s small intestine. Single-balloon enteroscopy uses a long endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end) that is fitted into a long overtube with a balloon on the tip. The balloon can be inflated or deflated to anchor the overtube and move the endoscope further into your child’s small intestine.

When the overtube is withdrawn, your child’s small intestine can be shortened and straightened, making it easier to position the inner endoscope and view your child’s small bowel.

Your child will be asleep (with anesthesia or sedation) for the single-balloon enteroscopy. The endoscope and overtube will be inserted into your child’s mouth and advanced through the esophagus and stomach deep into the small bowel.

The endoscope allows special tools — such as electrocautery or biopsy instruments — to be guided to the tip of the endoscope.

Because this procedure can take 1 to 3 hours, and because there is a risk for certain complications, doctors will usually only conduct a single-balloon enteroscopy if another diagnostic procedure has shown an abnormality in your child’s small intestines that is beyond the reach of conventional endoscopy or colonoscopy.

This test is only available at CHOP’s Main Campus.