Double-Balloon Enteroscopy – Retrograde


If your DBE procedure requires  a retrograde investigation it will be performed by passing the enteroscope through the back-passage, when you book your appointment, the reception staff will give you some preparation to take the before your procedure. The preparation may come in sachets or bottle form. This works as a powerful laxative to make your bowel completely clean, allowing the doctor to have a clear view of your bowel.

Please note that:

  1. You will not be allowed to eat any food for up to 24 hours before your procedure.
  1. You should drink lots of clear fluid as this helps in cleansing the bowel. However you must stop drinking 6 hours before the procedure.
  1. It is of great importance that this preparation works or it will not be possible to perform the test.

What should I bring on the day?

Please bring a list of your medication and a dressing gown. If you suffer from diabetes, please phone the unit, and we will give you more information. Also please bring your insulin/tablets with you.

The DBE procedure

Once the deep sedation or general anaesthetic has taken effect, the doctor  will commence the procedure by inserting the enteroscope into your back passage. Your bowel is inflated with a gas (carbon dioxide) and the enteroscope is slowly moved along your large bowel and then along your small bowel, allowing careful inspection of these organs. The procedure usually takes about 60-90 minutes and during the examination, the doctor may take biopsies (tissue samples), photographs or video of your bowel, even if it all looks normal. There will be nurses and other staff with you throughout the procedure to help monitor your vital signs and to assist the doctor.

What happens after the test?

After the procedure, you are transferred into the recovery area, where specially trained nurses monitor you for 1-2 hours whilst you sleep off the medication. Upon waking up, you shall be given a drink and something light to eat in preparation for your discharge home. Once home you can start with a light meal gradually getting back to a normal diet. You may feel some short-lived mild abdominal discomfort; this is normal.