An ileoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor inserts an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end) into the ileum (the last section of the small intestine) through a stoma or ileostomy.
It is often performed to diagnose and treat problems in the small intestine, such as inflammation, bleeding, or blockages. The procedure is usually performed under sedation to decrease discomfort associated with the procedure. The procedure usually takes less than 20 minutes to complete, although can vary in length depending on the interventions performed.
The doctor may take samples of tissue or remove polyps (small growths) during the procedure. After the ileoscopy, the patient may experience bloating, gas, and discomfort, but these symptoms should resolve within a day or two.
Benefits & Risks
As with any medical procedure, there are potential risks and benefits associated with ileoscopy. Overall, the benefits of ileoscopy in diagnosing and treating problems in the small intestine usually outweigh the potential risks. Your doctor will discuss the potential risks and benefits with you before the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
- Can help diagnose problems in the small intestine that may not be visible with other imaging tests, such as X-rays or CT scans.
- Allows the doctor to take samples of tissue or remove polyps during the procedure, which can help with diagnosis and treatment.
- Can help identify and treat bleeding, inflammation, or blockages in the small intestine.
- Bleeding, infection, and perforation (tearing) of the small intestine are possible, although rare.
- The procedure may cause bloating, gas, and discomfort, which should resolve within a few days.
- There is a small risk of reaction to the anesthesia.
The day before your procedure, patients are often on a clear liquid diet. They will often take a laxative such as magnesium citrate to clean out the GI tract and allow adequate visualization to safely and effectively complete the procedure. You will receive detailed instructions from the physician’s office before the procedure.
An ileoscopy usually takes about 20 minutes to complete. The length of the procedure will depend on the reason for the ileoscopy and what the doctor finds during the procedure.
After an ileoscopy, you may feel bloated and experience gas and discomfort. These symptoms should resolve within a day or two. You may also have a sore throat for a few days if the endoscope was passed through your mouth. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for yourself after the procedure, including any dietary restrictions.
As with any medical procedure, there are potential risks associated with ileoscopy. These may include bleeding, infection, and perforation (tearing) of the small intestine, although these complications are rare. There is also a small risk of reaction to the anesthesia. Your doctor will discuss the potential risks with you before the procedure.