Capsule endoscopy enables your doctor to examine your entire small intestine. Your doctor will have you ingest a vitamin-pill sized video capsule, which has its own camera and light source. During the 8 hour exam, you are free to move about. While the video capsule travels through your body, it sends images to a data recorder you will wear on a waist belt. Most patients find the test comfortable. Afterwards your doctor will view the images on a video monitor.
Indications for the procedure
There are many medical reasons for having a Capsule endoscopy. The following are some reasons for performing a Capsule endoscopy:
- CT scan abnormal finding;
- Abdominal pain of unclear origin;
- X-ray Findings;
- Barium enema abnormality.
In addition, capsule endoscopy is used for preventive examination of the gastrointestinal tract, esophagus and duodenum and suspicions on benign or malignant tumors.
Preparation for the Capsule Endoscopy
Cleaning the intestine before the capsule endoscopy is required.
An empty stomach allows optimal viewing conditions, so you should start a liquid diet after lunch the day prior to the examination and have nothing to eat or drink, including water, for approximately ten hours before a small bowel examination.
Tell your doctor in advance about any medications you take as you might need to adjust your usual dose for the examination. Tell your doctor of the presence of a pacemaker or other implanted electromedical devices, previous abdominal surgery, swallowing problem or previous history of obstructions in the bowel.
Benefits of Capsule Endoscopy
Capsule endoscopy has significant advantages. Due to the fact that the images are of high resolution, a method of diagnosing a disease is more informative in comparison with conventional methods for applying the diagnostic. In addition, the capsule endoscopy makes it possible to conduct a more detailed study of the mucosa of the small intestine.
Due to the ease of the procedure and the absence of unpleasant sensations diagnostics can be carried out at the initial stage of the disease, so you can start the correct treatment in a timely manner and cope with the disease in its early development.
Disadvantages and contraindications
This method of research is considered absolutely safe, but it is contraindicated in pregnant women, small children, in patients with epilepsy who have a pacemaker, as well as those people who have mechanical obstructions to advance the capsule (intestinal obstruction, tumor, stricture).
The main drawback is the impossibility of capsule endoscopy biopsy that is necessary for the diagnosis of many diseases and is often done with using endoscopical methods.