What is Capsule Endoscopy?
Capsule endoscopy helps a doctor assess the lining of the middle part of the gastrointestinal tract. The examination mainly includes the three parts of the small intestine, the duodenum, ileum, and jejunum.
For this procedure, the stomach doctor will ask you to swallow a pill-sized video camera. Importantly, the camera comes with a light, which enables it to take clear pictures as it passes through the small intestine. Then, the captured pictures are sent to a recording device that you are required to wear on your body.
As a result, the doctor will be able to examine the pictures later and provide you with information regarding the condition of your small intestine.
Why is Capsule Endoscopy Performed?
Capsule endoscopy aids a doctor to assess the small intestine. Importantly, it is used to examine the part of the gastrointestinal tract that cannot be examined by colonoscopy or upper endoscopy. One of the common reasons for performing a capsule endoscopy is to look for a cause of bleeding in the small intestine.
Moreover, it is also used for detecting inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn’s disease, polyps, tumors, and ulcers in the small intestine.
How to Prepare for a Capsule Endoscopy?
The primary requirement for capsule endoscopy is to have an empty stomach. You should not drink or eat anything, including water, for almost twelve hours prior to the procedure. Also, you must consult your doctor to know when exactly should you start fasting.
In addition to that, you will also be required to tell your doctor about any medications that you might be taking in advance. This can include aspirin, iron, bismuth subsalicylate products, and some other over-the-counter medicines. You will be needed to adjust your normal dose before the examination.
Furthermore, you should also discuss any allergies to medication along with medical conditions like swallowing diseases and lung or heart diseases. Along with that, inform your doctor about the presence of a defibrillator or pacemaker, previous abdominal surgery, or history of bowel obstructions, adhesions, or inflammatory bowel disease.
What to Expect During Capsule Endoscopy?
The first step of preparing for a capsule endoscopy procedure is applying a sensor device to the abdomen with the help of adhesive sleeves, which are similar to tape. Then, you will be required to swallow the pill-size capsule endoscope. It will pass through the digestive tract naturally while capturing video images.
These images will then be sent to a data recorder that you will have to wear on your belt for around eight hours. Once the procedure is completed, you will have to go back to the doctor’s office where the data recorder will be removed. Now, the doctor can examine the images of the small bowel by putting them on a computer screen.
According to many patients, capsule endoscopy is a comfortable procedure. The capsule endoscope is not large in size and can be swallowed without any discomfort. After intaking the capsule and until it excretes out, you will be required to stay close to an MRI device or get an MRI examination scheduled.