Your intestine is divided into two major sections, the large and the small. The large intestine is easily viewed by a traditional colonoscopy giving doctors clear views of problem areas. But, the small intestine is much more difficult to see clearly. When your doctor feels that a problem may be originating in the small intestine they may scheduled for a capsule endoscopy.
What Is a Capsule Endoscopy?
Capsule Endoscopy is a procedure that involves a rather advanced piece of technology – a camera the size and shape of a pill that you can easily swallow. Once swallowed the camera transmits data, for about 8 hours, to a device worn on a belt. Your doctor may refer to this procedure as a capsule endoscopy or a wireless capsule endoscopy.
What Does A Capsule Endoscopy Detect?
Preparing for Your Capsule Endoscopy
It is important for you to follow your doctor’s instructions for fasting prior to swallowing the capsule. In most cases, the fast is for about 12 hours prior to the beginning of the procedure. Additionally, there are some circumstances in which your doctor may require a complete bowel cleanse. While discussing the possibility of a capsule endoscopy you should give your doctor a complete list of all medications you take, both prescription and over the counter, and a history of surgeries, heart and lung disease, and bowel obstructions.
Capsule Endoscopy Procedure
During a capsule endoscopy, you will be asked to refrain from vigorous activity, avoid scheduling or coming in contact with an MRI, and do not disconnect the recording device. Light drinking and eating can begin at set intervals of the test per your doctor’s instructions. At the end of 8 hours, you will return to the office and our staff will disconnect you from the recording device.
Side Effects of Capsule Endoscopy
The test is well tolerated by most patients and complications are rare. You should contact Concorde Gastro if you have bloating, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting as these could indicate an obstruction that is preventing the capsule from exiting your digestive tract. Additionally, you should report to us if you experience a fever, chest pain or have difficulty swallowing.