Examination of the small intestine

An enteroscopy is a procedure to examine the small intestine with an endoscope, to help diagnose digestive problems

What is an enteroscopy?

An enteroscopy is a diagnostic procedure to look at the lining of your small intestine. A thin, flexible microscope with a light called an enteroscope is used.

This test is used to check for disease and can also be used to take tissue samples (a biopsy) to be analysed, if necessary.

Need to know

  • What happens during an enteroscopy? icon plus

    This procedure is usually carried out under local anaesthetic. This will numb the area to block pain. You may also be given a sedative to help you relax. A thin, flexible tube with a video camera and light at one end (an endoscope) will be inserted through your mouth and to your small intestine.

    A tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken using a small biopsy tool which is passed through the endoscope. It will then be sent for testing.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will let you know how to prepare and what will happen during the enteroscopy. You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for a set time beforehand. Make sure to tell your consultant about any medicines you are currently taking.

    You may need to arrange to have someone to take you home afterwards. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • After your procedure icon plus

    You'll need to rest until the effects of the anaesthetic and sedative wear off. You won't need to stay overnight and can go home the same day. Your throat may feel sore for a day or two after the procedure.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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