Wayne, NJ, August 1, 2004 —  Fujinon, Inc., a leader in advanced endoscopic systems, announces breakthrough technology for minimally invasive diagnosis and therapeutic intervention of the small intestine.  This new technology, commercially available under the Double Balloon Endoscopy™ brand, will allow physicians to endoscopically evaluate and treat disorders of the small intestine previously inaccessible without invasive surgery.

The small intestine is the most difficult organ of the gastrointestinal tract to access by way of endoscopy. This is due to its extraordinary length and distance from a convenient bodily orifice.  EGD Endoscopes, commonly known as gastroscopes, can reach the first part of the small intestine called the duodenum.  Longer enteroscopes were developed to facilitate the visualization of the upper portion of the small bowel, but have proven to be difficult to use by physicians and difficult for the patient.  These scope procedures allow physicians to perform biopsies and other therapeutic maneuvers.  Recently introduced capsule, or wireless endoscopy, allows for complete examination of the small bowel although it is unable to take samples, biopsies, or allow any type of intervention during the examination.  Double Balloon Endoscopy™ technology changes this paradigm by allowing for both examination and intervention throughout the entire small bowel via endoscopy.

"Double Balloon Endoscopy™ technology is an important milestone in endoscopy, says Dr. Gregory Haber, Director of Endoscopy at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.  "For the first time in three decades, since the advent of endoscopy, we can examine the entire small bowel and use a range of therapeutic tools for tissue acquisition and therapy. This technology allows us to forgo a cumbersome and lengthy abdominal surgery and laparotomy which was the only option for many patients previously.

According to Fujinon Vice President and General Manager Eric Knisley, "Endoscopic diagnosis and therapeutic intervention of the small bowel has been one of the last great frontiers in gastroenterology.  The advent of wireless endoscopy has allowed physicians to diagnosis unexplained bleeding, Crohns disease, multi-generating polyps, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and other disorders of the small intestine.  However, not until the development of the Double Balloon Endoscopy™ system, have physicians been able to endoscopically intervene and treat clinical pathology without open surgical intervention.  No longer is the small bowel 'The Dark Continent of the GI tract.

With this advancement, Fujinon intends to reduce the number of invasive surgical procedures necessary in the treatment of small bowel disorders, and greatly improve the quality of life for countless numbers of patients worldwide.

Fujinons Double Balloon Endoscopy™ technology, developed jointly with Jichi Medical School of Japan, uses an exclusive over-tube and balloon system that fits over a dedicated enteroscope and is controlled by a specialized balloon pump.  The pump controls dilation and contraction between two balloons that effectively "pleat the small bowel on to the endoscope, thus allowing the physician to effectively examine the entire length.

Fujinon, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Photo Optical Co., LTD a world leader in imaging technology.  Located in Wayne, NJ the Medical Division of Fujinon, Inc. is a leader in high-resolution, cost effective integrated endoscopic solutions in North America.  For more information about Fujinon's endoscopic solutions, please call us at (800) 490-0661.

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