Who Needs A Capsule Endoscopy?
A capsule endoscopy or pill cam involves a wireless, pill-sized camera that is swallowed to give our doctors a better look at your gastrointestinal tract, including portions of your small intestine. The images taken by the camera allow our doctors to look for abnormalities within the body. These images are transmitted to a recorder that you wear around a belt.
Who Needs A Capsule Endoscopy?
Doctors use capsule endoscopies for several reasons; these include:
- Locating the cause of gastrointestinal bleeding
The most common use of a capsule endoscopy is to help doctors determine the cause of unexplained bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Diagnosing cancer
Capsule endoscopies allow our doctors to look for and identify tumours in the digestive tract.
- Screening for polyps
Similarly, a capsule endoscopy can be used to screen a patient for polyps in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Diagnosing celiac disease
Celiac disease can be diagnosed by monitoring a patient’s reaction to gluten in the digestive tract.
- Diagnosing Crohn’s or other inflammatory bowel diseases
By giving doctors a better view of the gastrointestinal tract, a capsule endoscopy can aid in the diagnosis of bowel diseases.
- Follow-up testing after X-rays or CT and MRI scans
If the results of these imaging tests are inconclusive, our doctor may order a capsule endoscopy to get a closer look at your digestive tract.
- Examining the oesophagus
A capsule endoscopy may also be used to take pictures of a patient’s oesophagus to look for enlargement or abnormalities of the veins.
What To Expect During A Capsule Endoscopy?
Our doctors will give you fasting instructions before your capsule endoscopy. You may be asked to fast overnight or for 8 hours before the procedure.
Once you swallow the camera capsule, you should not be able to feel it. Wait 2 hours before consuming any liquids and 4 hours before consuming a light meal unless our doctor gives you other instructions.
After 8 hours, you can return the belt with the recorder and any other equipment. The camera should pass naturally from your body within a few days. If you do not see the camera in two weeks, contact our medical team, an X-ray may be ordered to see if the camera is still in your body.
During the procedure, you can go about your day as you usually would. However, you should avoid strenuous activities and keep dry. No swimming, showering or bathing is allowed.
What Are The Possible Complications Of A Capsule Endoscopy?
Capsule endoscopies are very safe. However, one possible complication is that the camera becomes lodged in a narrow passage. If you notice any bloating, nausea, vomiting, fever, trouble swallowing, or abdominal pain, contact our doctor immediately.
What Happens After A Capsule Endoscopy?
After 8 hours, you can remove any equipment from your body, such as the belt with the recorder. The capsule itself will pass naturally from your body over the next few days, and it can be safely flushed down the toilet. Once the procedure is complete, you can resume your regular activities. Your doctor will contact you with the results of your capsule endoscopy.
Do not have an MRI for 30 days after you have a capsule endoscopy.
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