Capsule Endoscopy (Wireless Capsule Endoscopy) Overview

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Capsule Endoscopy Defined

A capsule endoscopy uses a wireless video camera which may be swallowed by a patient. The capsule provides a painless method for imaging the digestive tract including the three portions of the small intestine (jejunum, ileum, and duodenum). This medical procedure is sometimes called wireless endoscopy, small bowel endoscopy, or capsule enteroscopy and is considered a less-invasive procedure by gastroenterologists to detect specific medical diseases.

One medical disease detected using a capsule endoscopy is colon cancer which has a higher survival rate when detected early. Other medical diseases include recurrent gastrointestinal bleeding, gastric ulcers, and Crohn’s disease.

Before a Wireless Capsule Endoscopy

A medical doctor will perform a medical history before a capsule endoscopy. The medical professional will check for any past or current medications including over-the-counter medications. This will give the doctor time to suggest adjustments to the medications such as the dosage.

It may be suggested to stop eating up to 12 hours before a wireless capsule endoscopy is performed. Also, a laxative may be suggested or given by a doctor to cleanse the digestive tract. An empty digestive tract may provide the clearest results for accuracy.

During the Procedure

After removing the shirt, a patient will have adhesive patches connected to the abdomen with a special recorder waist attachment. This allows image transmission for recording and storing the data. Next, the patient swallows a large capsule with a full glass of water.

A wireless capsule endoscopy is an outpatient medical prodecure so a patient is able to resume activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating. It may be suggested to eat approximately 4 hours after the capsule has be ingested. A patient may be advised to reduce some activities.

After a Wireless Capsule Endoscopy

The capsule procedure is complete after 8 to 10 hours or when a patient experiences a bowel movement. The patient can remove the recorder along with the patches. The capsule should come out naturally within a few days to a week. However, a doctor should perform an x-ray if 2 weeks occur without seeing the camera capsule.

The risks of a capsule endoscopy include patient capsule impaction for patients will prior medical scarring. Also, a pacemaker may create mixed results because of electrical charges.

A capsule endoscopy (wireless capsule endoscopy) can be an effective medical procedure for diagnosing diseases and conditions of the digestive tract.