Endoscopy 2007; 39(9): 788-792
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-966753
Original article

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Double-balloon colonoscopy after failed conventional colonoscopy: a pilot series with a new instrument

G.  Gay1 , M.  Delvaux1
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Digestive Diseases, Hôpitaux de Brabois, CHU de Nancy, Vandoeuvre les Nancy, France
Further Information

Publication History

submitted 2 February 2007

accepted after revision 22 June 2007

Publication Date:
17 August 2007 (online)

Background and study aims: The endoscopes that were developed for double-balloon enteroscopy have been successfully used in cases of failed colonoscopy. This study was a pilot series in which a new colonoscope was tested that utilized this double-balloon principle.

Patients and methods: A total of 29 patients (5 men, 24 women; mean age 54 years) in whom conventional colonoscopy had failed were included in this study. Both the failed colonoscopy and the double-balloon colonoscopy procedures were performed under general anesthesia, the usual practice in France. A prototype instrument (working length 152 cm, diameter 9.4 mm) designed to incorporate the principles of double-balloon enteroscopy was used. The completeness of colonoscopy was assessed according to conventional criteria by the achievement of a stable position in the cecum. The indicatons for the procedure, the time to reach the cecum, the need for fluoroscopic control, and adverse events were recorded.

Results: The previous colonoscopy failed due adhesions (n = 16), or to long or fixed loops (n = 13). Complete colonoscopy using the balloon method was achieved in 28/29 patients, taking an average time of 18 ± 14 minutes; a long sigmoid loop limited the examination to the left flexure in one patient. Balloon colonoscopy using double-balloon methodology was used in 24 patients and the instrument was used without an overtube (i. e. using a single-balloon technique) in five patients. Fluoroscopy was used in 16 patients to monitor endoscope progression. No complications were reported.

Conclusions: Double-balloon colonoscopy enables full colonic examination in almost all patients with a previous incomplete colonoscopy. The overtube should be used in most cases. The use of fluoroscopic assessment of scope progression could be reduced further with increasing experience.


M. Delvaux, MD

Department of Internal Medicine and Digestive Diseases

Hôpitaux de Brabois Adultes

CHU de Nancy

F-54511 Vandoeuvre les Nancy


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Email: [email protected]