Principle of Insertion of the Double Balloon Endoscope

In general, the most important factor when inserting an endoscope is to transmit the force applied to the endoscope shaft effectively to the endoscope tip. When the endoscope bends intricately or forms a loop, the force applied to the endoscope shaft is not transmitted to the endoscope tip, and thus the endoscope tip does not advance. When an enteroscope is inserted by the push method (the most commonly used technique for enteroscope insertion), the enteroscope may bend intricately or form a loop. Attempts were made to straighten the intestine with an inflexible overtube to prevent bend and loop formation and to insert an endoscope into the distal small intestine. However, it is impossible to straighten the entire small intestine, and it is harmful to straighten the intestine forcibly.

In fact, insertion is difficult not because of the bends and loops of an endoscope but because of stretching that part of the intestinal tract that forms a bend or a loop. Insertion of the endoscope shaft stretches the intestine, but the force is not effectively transmitted to the endoscope tip, thereby failing to advance the tip (Fig. 5.1). Unless this problem is solved, a simple endoscope with a long working length cannot reach the deep small intestine.

Anti Looping Endoscopy Overtube

This problem can be solved by avoiding stretching of the intestinal tract through which the endoscope tip has passed. Double-balloon endoscopy uses a flexible overtube with a balloon at its tip to prevent the stretching. The inflated balloon at the tip of the overtube anchors the intestine in place from inside and prevents the tip of the overtube from slipping. The overtube can bend flexibly but not stretch. The overtube does not stretch even in the presence of bends or loops, and neither does the intestinal tract that is being anchored by the balloon at the tip of the overtube. Consequently, insertion of the endoscope shaft does not stretch the intestine, and the force is effectively transmitted to the endoscope tip. Thus, the endoscope can be advanced into the deep portion of the small intestine, with the balloon at the tip of the overtube as a fixed support (Fig. 5.2).

Double Balloon Enteroscopy

(curved portion)

(looped portion)

Fig. 5.2. Inhibition of stretching the intestine by the balloon-attached overtube

(curved portion)

(looped portion)

Fig. 5.2. Inhibition of stretching the intestine by the balloon-attached overtube

During double-balloon endoscopy the endoscope is advanced as deeply as possible; the balloon at the tip of the overtube is then deflated, and the overtube is slid distally onto the endoscope. During the procedure, the balloon at the endoscope tip is inflated to grip the intestine from inside, preventing the endoscope tip from slipping. After deflating the balloon at the tip of the overtube and sliding the overtube to the deep position, the balloon at the tip of the overtube is inflated, and the endoscope and the overtube are withdrawn with the two balloons inflated. Through this procedure the inserted intestinal tract is pleated over the overtube and thus shortened (Fig. 5.3). The procedures are repeated to make the best use of the endoscope's working length and shorten the intestine of a total length of 6-7 m, enabling observation of the intestine with the endoscope with a working length of 200 cm. Moreover, the shortening procedure simplifies the curved intestine ahead as well as the subsequent insertion procedure (Fig. 5.4).

Enteroscopy Double Balloon
Fig. 5.3. Shortening the intestine with two bal- Fig. 5.4. Simplifying the shape of the intestine loons ahead

In short, double-balloon endoscopy takes advantage of the free mobility of the small intestine (which is not fixed in the abdominal cavity), shortens the small intestine, and simplifies the shape of the small intestine ahead. The endoscope is inserted deeper into the small intestine while the fixed support established by the balloon at the tip of the overtube is moved step by step.

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  • Clotilde
    How to insert balloon to endoscopy scope?
    2 years ago

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