Single Balloon Enteroscopy

What is a Single Balloon Enteroscopy (SBE) System?

Enteroscopy is a procedure that uses an endoscope to examine the stomach and small intestine (bowel). An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light at the end. Images from the camera are transmitted to a large monitor for your physician to view the inside of your small bowel.

Single-balloon enteroscopy (SBE) uses an endoscope equipped with a balloon that can be inflated and deflated when advanced into your small bowel. This enables your surgeon to access deeper regions for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

Indications for SBE

SBE system allows gastroenterologists to achieve the following:

  • Remove foreign objects or polyps from the bowel
  • Obtain biopsy samples
  • Locate any source of bleeding
  • Enlarge an intestinal stricture (narrowing)


Talk to your doctor about the medicines you are taking and those you should stop taking prior to SBE. You will be given instructions to stop eating or drinking for at least 12 hours prior to the procedure. Your doctor will advise you how to cleanse your bowel using laxatives and enemas. 


The procedure involves the following steps:

  • An IV line is started in your arm to deliver anaesthesia and make you feel relaxed.
  • An endoscope is inserted through your mouth or anus and advanced to the small bowel.
  • The balloon is inflated and deflated in succession in the small bowel, pulling up the bowel wall into pleats and shortening it. This enables access to deeper areas of the small bowel previously inaccessible.
  • Depending on your medical condition, your surgeon may use special surgical instruments to remove a polyp or diagnose a disease.

After the Procedure

You will need to spend some time in the recovery room under observation. Your doctor will discuss the results of your procedure either the day of your procedure or during a follow-up visit.


Complications are rare but can include:

  • Nausea
  • Sore throat
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Bleeding and infection


The advantages include:

  • No need for an incision
  • Requires minimal time
  • Important for early diagnosis

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