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 you may be 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 – these all refer to the identical procedure.
In New York, a Concorde Gastro gastroenterologist can perform this procedure. Some insurance policies do not cover a capsule endoscopy so you should check with your individual carrier before having the procedure. 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, but your doctor will give you detailed instructions. There are some circumstances in which your doctor may require a complete bowel cleanse prior to the procedure. 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.
During a capsule endoscopy you will be asked to refrain from vigorous activity, avoid scheduling or coming in contact with an MRI, and to not disconnect the recording device. Light drinking and eating can begin at set intervals of the test – follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. At the end of 8 hours you will return to the office and be disconnected from the recording device.
The test is well tolerated by most patients and complications are rare. Your 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. Fever, chest pain and difficulty swallowing should also be reported immediately.
It is in our very character to put you, the patient, first. If you live in the New York City metropolitan area and require a gastroenterologist you should visit Concorde Gastro. We offer four convenient locations from which to choose. Our doctors are among the best in their field and you can be confident in the care you receive.