What you need to know about:

Capsule Endoscopy

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Recovery Period:
No downtime
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Time it takes:
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Overview of

Capsule Endoscopy

in Thailand

Capsule Endoscopy is used to examine the small intestine. The patient swallows a small capsule [usually the size of a vitamin pull] which contains a miniature camera. The capsule then travels the entire digestive system all the way to its expulsion at the anus. As the capsule travels through the digestive system it will record and photograph its journey and transmit radio signals to a receiver attached to the patient’s abdomen.

Goals of

Capsule Endoscopy

Capsule endoscopies are used as a diagnostic tool to help your doctor rule out possible conditions or make a diagnosis for issues such as:  -Early signs of gastrointestinal cancer -Abdominal pain -Crohn’s disease -Celiac disease -Unexplained bleeding -Ulcers

Price of

Capsule Endoscopy

Average Cost

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Pros and cons of

Capsule Endoscopy

Pros

-Capsule endoscopy offers unique advantages compared to traditional endoscopic procedures. This procedure can examine the middle to lower parts of the small intestine, which can be hard to reach during an upper endoscopy or colonoscopy.  

-This procedure can also detect intestinal abnormalities that do not show up on imaging tests such as CT scans or x-rays.  

-The procedure does not require a lot of preparation and no anesthesia.  

-Traditional endoscopic procedures use a flexible tube with a video camera that travels through your digestive tract. While traditional endoscopies require some degree of sedation, the capsule endoscopy procedure is as easy as swallowing a pill.  

Cons

-There is a slight risk that the capsule can stuck in your small intestine, resulting in small bowel obstruction. This unlikely event may occur in narrowed areas of the small intestine (strictures).

Signs of a small bowel obstruction include:  -Bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, difficulty swallowing, and chest pain.  Small bowel obstruction needs emergency medical treatment. This may include endoscopic removal or surgery removal in the worst case.

How it works:

Capsule Endoscopy

Your health care team will review the procedure with your prior to starting. You might be asked to remove your shirt so that adhesive patches can be attached to your abdomen. Each patch contains an antenna with wires that connect to a recorder. Some devices don't require the patches. You will be required to wear the recorder on a special belt around your waist. The camera sends images to the antenna patches on your abdomen, which feed the data to the recorder. The recorder collects and stores the images.  Once the recorder is connected, you will then swallow the camera capsule with water. Once you swallow it, you shouldn't be able to feel the capsule anymore. You will then be allowed to go about your day. Your doctor will discuss restrictions for what you can do and cannot do. This may include avoiding strenuous activity, such as running and jumping. You will be ask to wait for approximately two hours after you swallow the capsule to resume drinking clear liquids.  The capsule endoscopy procedure is complete after eight hours or when you see the camera capsule in the toilet after a bowel movement, whichever comes first. Remove the patches and the recorder from your body, pack them in a bag and follow your doctor's instructions for returning the equipment. You can flush the camera capsule down the toilet.

Preparation before

Capsule Endoscopy

Pre - treatment

Your doctor will ask you to take steps to prepare yourself for the procedure.   To help the camera capture clear images of your digestive tract, you'll be asked fast at least 12 hours before the procedure. In some cases, your doctor may ask you to take a laxative before your capsule endoscopy to clear out your small intestine. This will help improve the quality of the pictures collected by the capsule's camera. To keep medication from interfering with the camera, your doctor might ask you not to take certain medications before the procedure.

Recovery after

Capsule Endoscopy

Post - treatment

Once the procedure is finished, your body might expel the camera capsule within hours or after several days. Each person's digestive system is different. If you don't see the capsule in the toilet within two weeks, contact your doctor. Your doctor might order an X-ray to see if the capsule is still in your body.  The camera used in capsule endoscopy takes thousands of color photos as it passes through your digestive tract. Your doctor will analyze the photos that are converted into a video to look for abnormalities within your digestive tract.  It might take a few days to a week or longer to receive the results of your capsule endoscopy. Your doctor will then share the results with you.

Risks & side effects

-There is a slight risk that the capsule can stuck in your small intestine, resulting in small bowel obstruction. This unlikely event may occur in narrowed areas of the small intestine (strictures). Signs of a small bowel obstruction include:  -Bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, difficulty swallowing, and chest pain.  Small bowel obstruction needs emergency medical treatment. This may include endoscopic removal or surgery removal in the worst case.

FAQs:

Capsule Endoscopy

What are the possible complications of capsule endoscopies?

Although complications can occur, they are rare when doctors who are specially trained and experienced in this procedure perform the test. There is 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’s 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.

Do I need to avoid anything once I swallow the capsule?

It is recommended that you wait around two hours after you swallow the capsule before you may drink clear liquids. After four hours, you can have a light lunch or a snack unless your doctor tells you otherwise.  The capsule endoscopy procedure is complete after eight hours or when you see the camera capsule in the toilet after a bowel movement, whichever comes first.

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