Preparation and Procedure of Balloon Endoscopy

Submitted on March 27, 2012

What is Balloon Endoscopy?

A balloon endoscopy is a very commonly practiced technique that makes it possible for a medical practitioner to use a gastrointestinal endoscope to analyze the condition of the small and large intestines. This practice helps understand a number of medical ailments affecting the individuals system through an analysis of the intestines. Detecting the medical complications at an early stage is important in order to be able to properly treat the ailment. There are two variants of the balloon endoscopy that are chosen primarily based on the purpose and intent of the procedure. These two versions of the treatment are known as single balloon endoscopy and double balloon endoscopy.

Procedure For Conducting It

The instrument used in a single balloon endoscopy is a 200 centimeter long fiber optic tube that is about 1 centimeter in diameter and has a light and camera on its tip. This endoscope, as it is called, is able to inflate the intestines with air as well as rinse with water. This contraption is fitted with a long over tube that slides the full length of the endoscope. The tube of this over tube is fitted with a balloon that can be blown up and deflated whenever required. The tube is inflated in order to help anchor the over tube within the intestines, allowing the over tube to advance further into the smaller intestine.  Once the doctor has been able to thoroughly analyze the insides of the intestines, the balloon will be deflated in order to allow the over tube to be withdrawn from the intestine.

The endoscope can also be effectively used when performing a biopsy. A double balloon endoscopy has the same features of its single balloon counterpart, but features a second balloon placed on the tip of the endoscope where the light and the camera are situated. The inflation of this second balloon will provide the physician with a more comprehensive view of the intestinal tract and provide more efficient movement of the endoscope as well.


When preparing for either a single or double endoscopy, it is important that the stomach is empty. Make sure no food or drink is consumed for up to about six hours prior to the procedure. It is also important that the patient informs his or her doctor about any allergies to medication or present health conditions. There is some amount of discomfort that the patient will experience when the endoscope is inserted into the colon. The patient may also suffer from a mild sore throat for a few days just after the procedure