A colon capsule endoscopy works very similarly to a the capsule endoscopy that is is used to examine the small intestine. The only difference is that there are two cameras instead of one to help capture more images from more angles to the bigger sized colon. Similarly, the patient will swallows a small capsule that will travel 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.
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
-Colon capsule endoscopy offers unique advantages compared to traditional endoscopic procedures. This procedure can will allow the doctor to record images taken of the colon.
-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.
-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.
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.
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.
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.
-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 is a colon capsule endoscopy different to that of a regular capsule endoscopy?
A colon capsule endoscopy contains 2 cameras instead of one to help capture more images from more angles to the bigger sized colon. It will allow the doctor to see images of your colon.
Is a colon capsule endoscopy better than a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is the gold standard of diagnosing problems within the colon and rectum. It gives doctors a real time view of what's happening inside the colon which includes detecting bleeds, polyps, cancerous lesions. However, the procedure usually requires the patient to be sedated to its little discomfort. A colonoscopy also provides the added benefit of allowing the doctor to perform biopsies of suspected lesions as well as removing lesions small in size therapeutically. A colon capsule endoscopy is a much simpler procedure that does not put the patient through as much discomfort as a conventional colonoscopy. Both procedures have their pros and cons. Be sure to discuss with your doctor beforehand.