Dr. Juan Herrera, a gastroenterologist with Lee Health, says an exciting new tool is helping doctors diagnose and treat patients with unexplained stomach problems. “This is a much needed diagnostic and therapeutic modality that we were waiting for. It has changed the way we do things, the way we treat patients, and allows us to endoscopic treatment without using high risk surgical approaches.”
It’s called a deep balloon enteroscopy. “Deep deep balloon enteroscopy is one of the newer modalities to inspect that region that has been very difficult for us to evaluate for many years,” said Dr. Herrera.
Previously, when patients would come in with symptoms like bleeding from an unknown source, doctors would use an upper and lower endoscopy to determine the cause. But the small bowel couldn’t be reached, until now. “We insufflate a balloon that secures the scope and allows us to penetrate the scope deeper into the GI tract, anchoring the scope,” said Dr. Herrera.
This allows physicians to access the small bowel, which is the deepest portion of the GI tract. “Some of the most common symptoms that lead to this procedure will be anemia and of course bleeding that continues to occur despite multiple endoscopies, multiple hospitalizations,” said Dr. Herrera.
The outpatient procedure not only determines the source of bleeding, it can also be used to stop the bleeding. “Diagnosis is acquired in 60 to 80 percent of the procedures that are done,” said Dr. Herrera.
Helping patients receive the treatment they need to return to a normal life.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.