A small bowel pouch is created surgically to serve as a stool reservoir for people whose large bowel has been completely removed. The pouch is usually located just above the anus, although rarely, it is near an ileostomy. A pouchoscopy is an endoscopic examination of the pouch. It is a simple, recommended procedure that is performed with a slim, flexible tube called an endoscope. This tube has a camera at the tip to provide a close-up view of the inside of the pouch. Biopsies or polyp removal may be performed during this procedure. Pouchoscopy can be performed with or without sedation, as the endoscope only passes a short distance into the bowel. The procedure requires some bowel cleansing for adequate visualization.

Visit the Your Digestive System page to learn more about the digestive organs involved in this procedure.

How Is a Pouchoscopy Performed?

A small flexible endoscope is passed through the anus into the pouch to allow visualization of the pouch lining.

Why Do I Need a Pouchoscopy?

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease or familial polyposis syndromes require periodic examination of the pouch.

What Are the Potential Complications from a Pouchoscopy?

Complications are rare, but are related to biopsy or polyp removal performed during the procedure, or due to the sedation, if it is used.

What Do I need to Do Prior to a Pouchoscopy?

Some bowel cleansing is needed before the procedure.

What Happens After the Pouchoscopy?

If you want sedation for the procedure you will need to have a driver with you and you will need that day off work. If you do not want sedation you may return to normal activities immediately. If a biopsy or polypectomy is performed, you will receive the results within the next two weeks.

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment to be evaluated for a pouchoscopy or other GI procedure, call 888-229-7408.