Enteroscopy in Kansas City, MO

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An enteroscopy is an endoscopic procedure where a lengthy, skinny, bendable tube, or "scope," is inserted into your mouth and advanced to the jejunum, the second portion of the small intestine. The scope has a light and a camera at the end, which allows our GI specialist to examine the inner portion of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. An enteroscopy procedure may be utilized to diagnose the reason for gastrointestinal issues such as abdominal pain, bleeding, or abnormal x-ray results. If it's been suggested you get an enteroscopy, you can contact our team of board-certified gastroenterologists at Digestive Health Specialists for more information. Our providers commonly conduct enteroscopy procedures for Kansas City, MO patients and offer the care you need to enhance your digestive health.

The enteroscopy procedure is most commonly used to detect irregularities or disorders in the small bowel. Indications of such conditions might involve:

  • Unexplained diarrhea
  • Unusual x-ray results
  • Bleeding
  • Abnormal growths or tumors in the small bowel

To an extent, other exam options will be dependent on the reason for needing the enteroscopy procedure to begin with. For most patients, an enteroscopy is the best way to discover and treat abnormalities in the upper GI tract, especially if they involve the jejunum (the second portion of the small intestine). However, the x-ray image known as an upper GI/small bowel follow-through can assess your upper gastrointestinal tract as well. This is, however, only a diagnostic exam. Treatment of these abnormalities will necessitate an enteroscopy or a surgical approach.

Prior to your procedure, you will get directions from your Digestive Health Specialists provider about necessary preparations. Many individuals will most likely be cleared to eat normally the day leading up to the enteroscopy. Patients will be instructed not to eat or drink anything after 12:00 a.m. the day of the procedure apart from medications. It is important to adhere to the requirements given to you by our team. There will also be further instructions regarding your medications. In many cases, your medications will be continued as instructed. However, in select circumstances, especially for patients on blood thinners and who are diabetic, specific instructions will be administered.

We will ask you to enter the endoscopy facility 1 to 1.5 hours prior to your enteroscopy procedure. This ensures you're able to fill out paperwork and get prepped for the procedure. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown. An intravenous (IV) catheter will be inserted in your arm so that sedation can be given to you. You will be connected to equipment that will help our team to monitor your heart rate, pulse, oxygen levels, and much more while you're in our care.

Once in your exam room, you will be asked to lie down on your left side on our procedure bed. The IV will then begin. Small amounts of the sedative are given at a time to verify that you do not have an adverse reaction to it and to provide just the amount you need. After the correct amount of medication is achieved, the endoscope will be carefully inserted into your mouth. The scope will be carefully advanced through your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. A small amount of air will be injected through the scope into your gastrointestinal (GI) tract to help your physician see. Any remaining fluid in your upper gastrointestinal tract is removed through the scope. Depending on the findings of your exam, several things can be suggested at the time of the procedure, including biopsies, removal of polyps, and control of bleeding. Once we're done with your procedure, air and remaining fluid are drawn out through the scope. Based on what we find, the exam often takes somewhere between 15 – 45 minutes.

After the exam, the patient is escorted to a separate recovery room to be monitored while the sedation starts to wear off. The amount of sedation given during your enteroscopy and your individual response to the sedation will determine how quickly you wake up, though most individuals are alert enough to be discharged after about 45 – 60 minutes. You will not be allowed to drive for the rest of the day, so you will need to have arrangements made for someone to take you home. You will also be instructed not to work, sign important documents, or do arduous activities for the remainder of the day. Typically, patients are fine to eat and drink as they normally would after their discharge from the endoscopy facility, however, guidelines regarding activities, medications, and eating will be reviewed prior to discharge.

After the enteroscopy exam, your Digestive Health Specialists team will discuss the findings of the procedure with you. Many patients will not remember the results of the exam because of the effects of the sedation medication. It is recommended, if you're able, to have a family member join you with whom the results can also be discussed. You will also go home with a report. You will be given any biopsy results within about one week.

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In general, an enteroscopy is a safe and effective process. Normally, setbacks happen in fewer than 1% of patients. The majority of issues are not terminal; however, if a complication occurs, it may require a hospital stay or surgery. Ahead of your exam, we will review a consent form with you. Should any questions or concerns arise, these can be discussed with your physician prior to beginning the enteroscopy.

Medication reactions related to the sedation might occur. These could include allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, effects on the heart and blood pressure, and irritation of the vein used to give the medication. Bleeding may result from the removal of polyps, biopsies, and with dilating strictures. Additionally, bleeding that results in a blood transfusion, or hospitalization, is very uncommon. Perforation of the esophagus, stomach, or small intestine could occur. We might recognize this at the time of the procedure, or it may not become apparent until hours later. In many cases, a perforation will mean surgery or a hospital stay. This is an uncommon complication, even when dilation is performed and biopsies are taken. It is important that the patient contact our Kansas City, MO office as soon as symptoms arise after the procedure, such as worsening abdominal pain, bleeding, or fever.

As is the case with any other procedure, enteroscopy is not flawless. There exists a minor, acknowledged chance that irregularities, including malignancies, might be missed throughout the course of the procedure. It is essential to routinely follow up with your provider as recommended and let them know of any new or persistent issues.

An enteroscopy is an effective endoscopic approach that can identify the causes of unexplained GI symptoms and help examine unusual x-ray results. If you need an enteroscopy, you can rely on our highly trained GI providers. As a physician-led team of GI specialists, Digestive Health Specialists strives to offer personalized patient-centric care to enhance your GI tract health. To connect with a provider who offers enteroscopy procedures in Kansas City, MO, please contact a Digestive Health Specialists location in your community.

What should I avoid after my enteroscopy?

Following an enteroscopy, you should not eat or drink until your doctor permits. You should also adhere to any medication instructions you are given and avoid strenuous physical activities. If you experience severe abdominal pain, persistent bleeding, or a fever, please get in touch with us immediately.

Who should avoid having an enteroscopy?

Enteroscopy might not be advised for those with certain medical conditions or risk factors that increase the likelihood of complications. Those with severe heart or lung disease, uncontrolled bleeding disorders, or recent heart attacks may have heightened risks due to sedation and the procedure. Additionally, people with anatomical abnormalities or strictures in the digestive tract might be advised against it. Please discuss any existing health conditions or concerns with your healthcare provider to see if enteroscopy suits you.

What are the differences between an endoscopy and an enteroscopy?

The primary distinction between endoscopy and enteroscopy is the parts of the digestive tract they inspect. Both procedures utilize a flexible tube with a camera (endoscope), but endoscopy typically focuses on the upper gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. In contrast, enteroscopy targets the small intestine, which is located deeper within the digestive system and is more challenging to reach. Enteroscopy is often chosen when other diagnostic tests like endoscopy or colonoscopy have not provided clear results or when there is a suspected issue in the small intestine.

Always seen within a reasonable time of appointment and don't feel rushed.

P.S. Google

The staff was very friendly and informative. The Dr seemed genuinely interested in my situation. Only time will tell. I was very satisfied with our initial meeting.

L. Google

The whole process went very smoothly. The Dr. not only spoke with me before and after the procedure they were also very prompt with getting me the results.

T.M. Google

As uncomfortable the prep was, everyone at the office was exceptional. Kept me informed about every detail.

B.H. Google

Dr. Schowengerdt met me through the ER. He had been called in when it was discovered I had a bleeding stomach ulcer. Myself and my family were very apprehensive since we did not know what was going on with me. He took the time to explain to us how he would do the procedure and what to expect. He answered all questions very thoroughly and patiently. He was never in a hurry to just tell us and leave. After surgery, his bedside manor never wavered. He came each day and spoke with us to keep us up to date as to what his plan was for me. I was very impressed with his professionalism.

M.V. Google


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