Amazing Pill-Sized Diagnostic Technology
What is capsule endoscopy?
Capsule endoscopy lets us examine the lining of the middle part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the three portions of the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum and ileum). Your doctor will give you a pill-sized video camera for you to swallow. This camera has its own light source and takes pictures of your small intestine as it passes through. These pictures are sent to a small recording device you wear on your body. Your doctor will be able to view these pictures and provide you with useful information regarding your small intestine.
Why do we do capsule endoscopy?
Capsule endoscopy helps your doctor evaluate the small intestine. This part of the bowel cannot be reached by traditional upper endoscopy or by colonoscopy. The most common reason for doing capsule endoscopy is to search for a cause of bleeding from the small intestine. It may also be useful for detecting polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease), ulcerative colitis, ulcers and tumors of the small intestine. As with most new diagnostic procedures, not all insurance companies are currently reimbursing for this procedure. You may need to check with your own insurance company to ensure that this is covered.
What are the possible complications of capsule endoscopy?
Although complications can occur, they are generally rare. There is a potential for the capsule to be stuck at a narrowed spot in the digestive tract, resulting in bowel obstruction. This usually relates to a stricture (narrowing) of the digestive tract from inflammation, prior surgery or tumor. It is important to recognize obstruction early. Signs of obstruction include unusual bloating, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting. You should call your doctor immediately for any such concerns. Also, if you develop a fever after the test, have trouble swallowing or experience chest pain, tell your doctor immediately. Be careful not to disconnect the system as this may result in loss of pictures being sent to your recording device.
Discover leading-edge gastroenterology care. Call 949.612.9090 or simply use the Request an Appointment form. Our capsule endoscopy patients come to us from Huntington Beach, Irvine, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Tustin and bordering locations.