Single-balloon-assisted colonoscopy in patients with previously failed colonoscopy
Background: Despite advances in training and equipment, complete colonoscopy fails, even in experienced hands, in up to 10% of cases. Double-balloon endoscopy (DBE) has been successfully used to complete colonoscopy in these patients. Single-balloon endoscopy (SBE) has become established for small-bowel enteroscopy. However, it has yet to be studied for use in colonoscopy. Objective: To assess the efficacy, performance, and safety of single-balloon colonoscopy. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: Academic tertiary referral center. Patients: Patients with previously failed conventional colonoscopy. Results: 23 single-balloon colonoscopy procedures were performed in 22 patients: median age 53 (range 19-75) years; 14 females, 8 males. SBE colonoscopy succeeded in cecal intubation in 22 (96%) procedures, with a median total procedure time of 30 (range 20-60) minutes. SBE colonoscopy was normal in 9 cases but resulted in a positive diagnosis in 13 (57%) procedures, including polyps (n = 6), active Crohn's disease (n = 4), Crohn's-related stricture (n = 1), and diverticulosis (n = 2). Seven (30%) procedures were therapeutic including 1 case with balloon dilation and 6 cases with polypectomy. No complications were encountered. Limitations: Limited sample size, no direct comparison with double-balloon endoscopy. Conclusions: Single-balloon-assisted colonoscopy seems a safe and effective method for completing colonoscopy in patients with previously failed or difficult colonoscopy. The outcomes are similar compared with previous studies with DBE colonoscopy in this patient group.