What is Capsule Endoscopy?
As the name suggests, capsule endoscopy is a medical procedure that is done with the help of a capsule-size camera. The capsule shape camera is independent of wires; hence, it can be easily swallowed by the patient. As the capsule makes its way down, it captures multiple pictures of the gastrointestinal tract. This allows the stomach doctor to examine the entire digestive tract instead of a single section with the help of pictures.
Importantly, some capsule cameras are also able to take videos, which further aids the doctor in assessing the gastrointestinal tract of the patient efficiently. One thing that makes capsule endoscopy better than other types of endoscopies is that the majority of the middle part of the intestine gets missed, and that does not happen when the endoscopy is done with the help of a tiny camera.
The Pros of Capsule Endoscopy
There are several advantages that a capsule endoscopy procedure provides. Some of the health benefits of capsule endoscopy are:
- It takes pictures of the entire process down the digestive tract, including the parts that are usually missed by other methods of endoscopy.
- It is practically symptomless and painless. The capsule camera itself is of the same size as a usual pill. After following the digestive tract, it will pass out from the body normally.
- It only takes around 6-8 hours to collect the data required for a diagnosis.
- The camera used in capsule endoscopy can be tracked easily, which allows the doctor to where exactly where the pill is.
- The images produced by the camera are high-resolution and clear.
- The process is cost-effective. It costs almost $500, which is less when compared to other endoscopy procedures which usually cost $800 to $4000 and more.
- It allows early diagnosis of a great deal of health conditions and diseases.
- It is less evasive and worrying than other endoscopy methods. This means that patients feel more comfortable during a capsule endoscopy. Consequently, patients don’t feel stressed, which further improves the quality of the experience they have with the procedure.
- The camera captures two pictures every second.
- Unlike traditional methods of endoscopy, capsule endoscopy does not have any risk of damaging the tract. The risks of infections are comparatively less as well.
The Cons of Capsule Endoscopy
Along with various pros, capsule endoscopy has some cons as well. Some of them are:
- If there is a retention of the capsule camera and it isn’t passed, its batteries will die eventually.
- There can be an increased risk of retention of the problem of a blockage in patients who are dealing with bowel obstructions.
- Although it is rare, some people also experience minor pain as the pill passes through the digestive tract.
- The capsule endoscopy prep can be quite complicated for some patients as well.
- There are a lot of images/data to go through. Hence, it can be very time-consuming for the doctor to examine every picture.