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Contact: John P. Broder
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Mineola, NY – Winthrop-University Hospital is proud to be the first hospital on Long Island to offer double balloon enteroscopy – an advanced diagnostic tool and treatment modality that enables gastroenterologists to access the entire small intestine, the most difficult area of the gastrointestinal tract to reach.

The latest advancement in the field of gastroenterology, double balloon enteroscopy is used to evaluate the small intestine, biopsy tissue cells, investigate and treat bleeding, as well as diagnose and treat gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and anemia.

“As the first center on Long Island to offer double balloon enteroscopy, Winthrop continues its tradition as a leader in bringing new and advanced technology to patients with digestive disorders,” said James Grendell, MD, Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Winthrop. “Using double balloon enteroscopy, we can visualize the small intestine and treat gastrointestinal disorders that in the past have been extremely difficult to diagnose and manage.”

After inserting the endoscope – a thin tube with a built-in camera, light and miniscule tools – through the patient’s mouth or rectum, the gastroenterologist inflates and deflates two balloons to inch the instrument along the inside of the gastrointestinal tract. As the scope advances through the small intestine, it enables the physician to achieve an unprecedented view of the small intestine.

“As a treatment tool, double balloon enteroscopy also enables us to cauterize bleeding, place stents, remove polyps and localize tumors, often in one combined diagnostic and treatment procedure, frequently eliminating the need for invasive surgery and providing patients permanent relief,” said gastroenterologist David Friedel, MD, Associate Director of GI Endoscopy and the first physician at Winthrop – and on Long Island – to perform this cutting-edge procedure.

Winthrop’s team of gastroenterologists also utilizes double balloon enteroscopy to perform endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to remove gallstones from the bile duct of bariatric surgery patients and other patients with surgically altered anatomy.

“After experiencing rapid weight loss, these patients are at a greater risk for developing gallstones that can become lodged in the bile duct. Accessing this area is a challenge in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery, and endoscopic methods such as double balloon enteroscopy are invaluable in allowing us to reach the opening of the bile duct to extract the gallstones,” said Stavros Stavropoulos, MD, Director of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the Advanced Endoscopy Program at Winthrop.

ERCP via double balloon enteroscopy in patients with surgically altered anatomy is a highly specialized, challenging procedure performed at Winthrop by Dr. Stavropoulos and his interventional team. The utility of this technique in bariatric patients contributes to the state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary management of bariatric patients at Winthrop’s Bariatric Center.

Double balloon enteroscopy is also used as a follow-up to the innovative “capsule endoscopy” if the still photos captured by the capsule camera indicate a need for more detailed examination and/or treatment of the small intestine. In addition, this new technique can be used in patients whose traditional colonoscopy was unsuccessful – which can be as many as five percent of procedures.

For cases in which double balloon enteroscopy indicates the need for surgery, gastroenterologists can also use double balloon enteroscopy to determine the precise area requiring intervention and plan for the appropriate type of surgery. This results in shorter recovery time, enabling patients to return to normal activities more quickly.

For more information about double balloon enteroscopy or other state-of-the-art services available at Winthrop-University Hospital, please call 1-866-WINTHROP or visit

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