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Innovation at workDoctor finds and removes hard-to-reach polyp without major surgery
Thompson swallowed a vitamin-sized capsule containing a camera and radio transmitter. A miniature computer strapped to her hip collected the images over an eight-hour time span, long enough for the capsule to travel the entire 20 feet of the small bowel. The images revealed a polyp that explained the bleeding.
“Dr. Renton was very knowledgeable and experienced regarding this procedure,” Thompson said. “I was confident he could take care of the polyp without having to resort to major surgery.”
For single balloon enteroscopy, a long flexible tube is equipped with a light and camera at the tip and is fitted with an equally long overtube. On the tip of the overtube is a balloon that can be inflated and deflated. After advancing the endoscope as deeply as possible, the balloon is inflated, anchoring the bowel onto it. The overtube is pulled back, shortening and straightening the small intestine to make passage of the inner endoscope easier. The process is repeated until the endoscope has advanced as deeply as possible.
Single balloon enteroscopy is used to reach lesions in the small intestine. Inserting specialized tools through a channel in the endoscope, Dr. Renton is able to perform biopsies, mark the location of polyps with a tattoo and, in some cases, remove the polyp.
“My initial goal was to tattoo the location so a surgeon could easily remove a small part of the bowel through a small incision,” he said. “But I was able to remove the polyp with the scope, eliminating the need for Susan to have any surgery.”
Dr. Renton was the first in North Dakota to perform this innovative procedure, which became available at Sanford Health in 2009.
“I was so relieved I didn’t have to undergo surgery,” Thompson said. “This procedure was a surprisingly simple, easy way to take care of something that had made me feel so awful. I had no pain or recovery time and went home the same day. It was a piece of cake.”
Click here for more information about Sanford Gastroenterology or call (701) 323-8030.