Background and aim: Indications for small-bowel enteroscopy are increasing, but advancing the endoscope to the ileum remains challenging, especially for less experienced operators. The aim was to evaluate the ease of use, safety, and efficacy of the Discovery SB overtube (Spirus Medical, Stoughton, Massachusetts, USA) during SB enteroscopy by physicians with no experience of the device.
Patients and methods: Thirty-three "untrained" endoscopists performed spiral enteroscopy during one of four 2-day training modules. Data were prospectively collected. Patient demographics, depth and time to maximal insertion, total procedure time, and findings were recorded. Trauma was documented during scope withdrawal. Day 1 and day 2 results were compared.
Results: Ninety procedures were successfully performed in 95 patients (72.6 % women, age = 48.8 +/- 14.2 years). Endoscopists each performed a mean of five procedures. Mean time to maximal insertion was 20.9 +/- 6.4 minutes. Mean depth achieved was 262.0 +/- 57.4 cm. Total procedure time was 33.6 +/- 8.0 minutes. In 90.3 %, 94.6 %, and 83.9 % of patients, respectively, a trauma score less than 3 was recorded in the esophagus, stomach, and intestine (scale = 0 - 5). There were no perforations, nor significant associations between trauma score and patient age, body mass index, depth of insertion, time to maximal insertion, total procedure time, or day 1 vs. day 2 procedures. Depth of insertion was greater on day 2 than on day 1 (276.9 +/- 53.7 cm vs. 252.0 +/- 58.0 cm, P = 0.043).
Conclusions: Discovery SB provides safe advancement of the enteroscope into the distal small bowel. Maximum depth of insertion appears comparable to that of balloon enteroscopy while taking less time. The device is easy to use and may be effectively operated in as few as five training cases.