Background: Deep insertion of an enteroscope by use of a push technique is difficult. A new method of enteroscopy was developed, a double-balloon method, to improve the access to the small intestine.
Methods: The new method uses 2 balloons, one attached to the tip of the endoscope and another at the distal end of an overtube. By using these balloons to grip the intestinal wall, the endoscope can be inserted further without forming redundant loops in the small intestine. This method was tried with a standard upper endoscope in 3 patients and with a longer enteroscope in 1 patient.
Results: Despite its short length the upper endoscope was successfully inserted as far as 30 to 50 cm beyond the ligament of Treitz in the 3 patients. In the fourth patient the longer enteroscope was successfully inserted beyond the ileo-cecal valve.
Conclusions: The double-balloon method facilitates endoscopic access to the small intestine.