Enteroscopy in Northwest Arkansas

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Enteroscopy is an endoscopic procedure in which an extended, slender, pliable scope is inserted through the mouth and slowly progressed to the second portion of the small intestine, called the jejunum. The scope has a light and a camera on the end of it that help your provider to clearly see the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. An enteroscopy procedure might be performed to identify the reason for GI problems such as abdominal pain, bleeding, or concerning x-ray results. If it's been suggested you get an enteroscopy, you can contact one of our knowledgeable gastroenterologists at GI Alliance of Arkansas to learn more. Our providers routinely perform enteroscopy procedures for Arkansas patients and look forward to helping you manage your gastrointestinal health.

An enteroscopy is often carried out to determine the underlying cause of concerns or disorders in the small bowel. These concerns could include:

  • Unexplained diarrhea
  • Abnormal tumors or growths in the small intestine
  • Bleeding
  • Unusual x-ray results

To an extent, other exam options will depend on the basis for ordering the enteroscopy procedure to begin with. For many patients, enteroscopy is the optimal way to discover and manage abnormalities in the upper GI tract, particularly if they impact the second portion of the small intestine or jejunum. However, the x-ray imaging test called the upper GI/small bowel follow-through can assess the upper digestive tract, as well. This is, though, only a diagnostic tool. Treatment of abnormalities will necessitate an enteroscopy or a surgical procedure.

Before the day of your procedure, you will receive directions from your GI Alliance of Arkansas provider about the required prep. For the most part, patients will be allowed to eat as normal the day leading up to the enteroscopy. Patients will be instructed not to eat or drink anything after midnight except for any medications they take. It is very important to adhere to the guidelines provided by our team. There will also be more information about medications. In the majority of instances, your medications can continue as per usual. However, in some patients, especially patients on blood thinners and who have diabetes, special instructions will be given.

Your gastroenterologist will ask you to show up to the endoscopy unit 1 – 1.5 hours ahead of your enteroscopy exam. This is to allow time to fill out paperwork and get prepped. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown. An IV catheter will be inserted in your arm so sedation can be given to you. We will connect you to equipment that will let us monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, pulse, breathing, oxygen levels, and more while you're in our care.

Once settled in your exam room, we'll have you lie down on your left side on our procedure bed. The IV sedation will be started. Small amounts are given at a time to ensure your safety and to provide just the amount you specifically need. After the correct level of sedation is reached, the endoscope will be gradually inserted into your mouth. We will carefully advance the scope through the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. A bit of air is injected through the scope into your GI tract to help your physician see. The remaining fluid in the upper gastrointestinal tract is suctioned out through the scope. Depending on the outcome of your exam, a number of things can be done at the time of your enteroscopy, such as biopsies, removal of polyps, and control of bleeding. Once we're done, as much of the air and remaining fluid as possible is suctioned out via the scope. Depending on our findings, the procedure takes approximately 15 – 45 minutes.

Once the exam is done, you will be transferred to recovery to be supervised while the sedation starts to wear off. The amount of sedation given during your exam and your particular response to the medication will determine how fast you come to, though many patients are awake enough for discharge within 45 – 60 minutes. You will not be allowed to drive for the rest of the day; therefore, you will need to have arrangements made for someone to take you home. You will also be instructed not to work, sign official documents, or perform taxing activities for the remainder of the day. Most patients are fine to eat and drink normally after being discharged from the endoscopy facility. However, specific instructions regarding activity, medications, and eating will be discussed before discharge.

Following your enteroscopy procedure, your GI Alliance of Arkansas team will review the outcome of the exam with you. Most patients will struggle to remember what they are told after the exam because of the effects of the sedation. It is recommended, if possible, to bring someone with you who can lend a second pair of ears. We will also send you home with a report. You will be given any biopsy results usually within one week.

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Enteroscopy is generally a very safe procedure. Overall, complications happen in less than 1% of patients. Most problems are not mortal, but if an issue does arise, it may necessitate a hospital stay or a surgical procedure. Before your exam, we'll make sure you understand all risks before signing the consent form. If you have any questions or concerns, these can be discussed with your GI specialist prior to beginning your procedure.

Reactions associated with sedation can occur. These can include allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, effects on the heart and blood pressure, and irritation of the vein used to give the medication. Bleeding may result following the removal of polyps, biopsies, and with dilating strictures. It is uncommon for bleeding to occur to such a degree that you need a blood transfusion or a hospital stay. A tear or trauma of the esophagus, stomach, or small intestine could occur. This may be recognized at the time of the procedure, or it might not be obvious until later in the day. In many cases, perforation will require surgery and/or a hospital stay. This is uncommon, even when dilation is performed and biopsies are taken. It is very important that the patient contact our Arkansas office right away if symptoms arise after your procedure (which may include bleeding, abdominal pain, or fever).

Similar to any other test, enteroscopy is not perfect. There exists a small, acknowledged chance that abnormal tissues, including malignancies, can be overlooked throughout the course of the procedure. It is very important to follow up with your physician as advised and inform them of any new or ongoing symptoms.

An enteroscopy is an effective endoscopic tool used to evaluate unusual x-ray results and identify the reason for GI symptoms. If you need an enteroscopy, you can rely on our experienced specialists. As a board-certified group of gastroenterologists, GI Alliance of Arkansas endeavors to provide one-of-a-kind patient-centered care to enhance your GI health. To connect with a provider who offers enteroscopy procedures in Arkansas, please get in touch with a GI Alliance of Arkansas location near you.

Cheryl Walsh is a Great person with a very good bed side manor. Sweet personality and very helpful.

M.B. Google

Cheryl explained e erything very clearly. Great visit.

A.M. Google

I was very well taken care of and listened to at this facility. The nurses and staff could not be nicer or more accommodating. I have been going there for years and will continue.

C.M. Google

Great staff

R.K. Google

Glad to see them since my GI doc from Northwest never called. I was in bad shape!

J.B. Google

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