This study describes small bowel push enteroscopy in routine clinical practice, using a purpose designed instrument (Olympus SIF-10). Fifty six patients had a total of 60 procedures over a two and a half year period. The median (range) depth of small intestine intubated was 45 (15-90) cm. Procedure time varied from 10-45 minutes. Most enteroscopies were performed during routine gastroscopy lists. The technique was comparatively easy for experienced endoscopists to learn. Forty two procedures were for diagnostic purposes. Eleven patients had gastrointestinal bleeding where the source was obscure, or where early investigations had suggested a small bowel source: a specific diagnosis was made in 45% of these cases. Of seven iron deficient anaemic patients using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), only one had a lesion detected in the upper small bowel. Nine patients had abnormal small bowel barium studies. Small bowel abnormalities were seen in six cases and were definitively diagnostic in three of these; in three patients the barium study appearances were confirmed as artefact. Fifteen patients were investigated for abdominal symptoms suggesting small bowel obstruction or malabsorption: a diagnosis was made in five cases. Fifteen patients underwent enteroscopy for therapeutic purposes, including successful treatment of difficult enteral feeding problems by nasojejunal tubes or by cutaneous endoscopic jejunostomies, polypectomy for Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, and dilatation of strictures. Additionally, bleeding lesions detected in patients during investigation of anaemia were successfully treated at the time by YAG laser or bipolar diathermy. In conclusion, push enteroscopy is a practical and valuable clinical service, which should probably become available on a subregional basis.
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