Capsule endoscopy is a diagnostic tool doctors use when they need to peek inside your digestive tract. It involves swallowing a small capsule, about the size of a large vitamin pill, which houses a camera. As the capsule travels through your digestive system, it takes thousands of pictures, transmitting them to a recorder you wear on a belt.
This educational blog explains the innovative procedure of capsule endoscopy.
Why Capsule Endoscopy?
This procedure is particularly useful for viewing the small intestine, an area that traditional scopes cannot reach. It is often recommended to:
- Investigate unexplained abdominal pain.
- Diagnose conditions like Crohn's disease or celiac disease.
- Find the cause of gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Screen for polyps or tumors.
The Procedure – Simple and Non-Invasive
Capsule endoscopy is delightfully straightforward:
- Preparation: You may need to fast and possibly take a laxative before the procedure.
- Swallowing the capsule: You will swallow the capsule with water – it is smooth and designed to be swallowed comfortably.
- Capturing images: The capsule takes photos as it moves naturally through your gut.
- Passing the capsule: It is disposable and will leave your body the old-fashioned way – yes, you will poop it out!
After the Procedure
There is no downtime with capsule endoscopy. Follow these instructions for swift recovery post-procedure:
- Avoid strenuous physical activity until the capsule is passed.
- Drink plenty of water to aid the capsule’s journey.
- Resume normal eating after doctor’s approval post-procedure.
- Report any abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting to your doctor.
- Schedule a follow-up to discuss the results and next steps.
- The images from the capsule give your doctor a detailed view of your small intestine, helping to diagnose and manage various conditions.
- The process is less invasive than traditional endoscopy or colonoscopy, with no sedation required.
Capsule endoscopy is a testament to how far medical technology has come. For patients, it means a more comfortable experience and quick results. If your doctor suggests a capsule endoscopy, there is no need for concern. It is a safe, efficient way to get to the bottom of many digestive health issues.