The location of the small intestine can make it difficult to examine by way of a traditional endoscopy or colonoscopy. Should your doctor need to examine your small intestine, they may recommend a capsule endoscopy.
Capsule endoscopy is a procedure that is used to examine the esophagus and the small intestine. The capsule is a pill-sized camera, and as it moves along the esophagus and into the small intestine, it takes pictures or videos that your doctor can use to rule out possible conditions and make an accurate diagnosis.
Patients who are exhibiting symptoms that could potentially indicate a problem with the small intestine are ideal candidates for a capsule endoscopy.
What Gastrointestinal Conditions Can a Capsule Endoscopy Reveal?
Capsule endoscopy may be recommended if the results of previous medical imaging tests are inconclusive. A pill camera may be used to examine and diagnose conditions, such as:
- Enlarged veins in the esophagus
- Abdominal bleeding
- Celiac disease
- Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease
- Tumors in the small intestine and other parts of the digestive tract
These conditions can become serious, severely affect your quality of life, and most likely require treatment. A pill camera can help your gastrointestinal health in that it is a critical resource used to provide your doctor with the information they need to plan your treatment.
How a Capsule Endoscopy Works
To perform a capsule endoscopy, you will swallow the pill-sized camera. The capsule camera does not have to be guided, has its own light source, and is powered wirelessly. The images taken by the camera will be transmitted to a belt-like device equipped with a sensor that you will be wearing around your waist for approximately eight hours. A wealth of information will be collected by the pill camera through images. You will return to the doctor’s clinic at the end of the procedure, and the images collected will be saved on a computer for interpretation. Your body will eventually excrete the pill camera on its own.
To get clear images that your doctor can use, you may need to fast and take a laxative before the procedure. An empty stomach is the best and safest to examine. Capsule endoscopy is painless and requires no sedation, which is highly advantageous for patients who do not want discomfort and want fewer complications.
Capsule Endoscopy in California
If your doctor has recommended a capsule endoscopy, choose inSite Digestive Health Care for your exam. For decades, our board-certified gastroenterologists have provided top-of-the-line patient care in our state-of-the-art facilities across California. Capsule endoscopy is just one of the many screening and diagnostic procedures we perform in our clinics. Should an examination by pill camera not be right for you, we have other more suitable options.
A capsule endoscopy or other GI exam is critical to treatment planning. Don’t delay your treatment any longer. If you have any questions or would like to schedule your scan, call our clinic nearest you, or use our online appointment request form.