PillCam Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy
The Smartest Pill You’ll Ever Swallow
Until capsule endoscopy came along, the small intestine was always difficult to image and treat without open surgery. Capsule endoscopy is a diagnostic technology that allows Dr. Berookim to detect lesions, ulcers, tumors, and bleeding within the small bowel.
Patients arrive at the office earlier in the morning and swallow a pill-sized video capsule containing a miniature video camera, light bulb, battery and transmitter to photograph the inside lining of the small intestine. The capsule takes thousands of photographs over an 8 hour period (you will leave the office during the recording) that are later reviewed by Dr. Berookim. This amazing technology is commonly used to evaluate for abdominal pain, diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, anemia and Crohn’s diseease.
For capsule endoscopy, patients are required to be on a clear liquid diet the entire day prior to the procedure.
Is Capsule Endoscopy Right for Me?
Capsule endoscopy may be right for you if you are experiencing any of the following conditions:
- Chronic diarrhea and abdominal pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Polyposis syndromes
- Abnormal imaging of gastrointestinal tract
- Obscure gastrointestinal blood loss
Capsule Endoscopy Procedure Preparation
Dr. Berookim will provide the patient with all of the appropriate instructions before the capsule endoscopy exam. However, it is important to know that the patient will not be allowed to eat or drink anything for at least six to eight hours before the exam.
What can I expect during a Capsule Endoscopy Procedure?
The patient will not be allowed to eat or drink for approximately six to eight hours before the exam, so typically this exam is performed in the morning after fasting through the night. Once the patient arrives a sensory belt will be applied to the patient’s abdomen, and the battery pack is attached to the patient’s waist.
The patient is then given the pillcam to swallow with water. After ingesting the pill cam the patient is free to go about the day as normal. The patient will be slowly reintroduced after fasting per the doctor’s instructions. The capsule travels through the esophagus, stomach and small intestine, taking thousands of photographs. They are transmitted to a small Bluetooth® receiver worn by the patient.
After four hours the patient can have regular food and medication, and only clear liquids until after the first two hours.
After approximately 8 hours, the patient returns to the office and the photographs are downloaded to a computer, where they can be reviewed by Dr. Berookim. The pillcam capsule will be passed in the patient’s feces within 48 hours with no further action needed.
It’s important to remember that capsule endoscopy can only help diagnose a problem. If treatment is required, a full endoscopic procedure may be necessary to remove and correct the problem.
Capsule Endoscopy Results
The patient receive the results either over the phone or at a scheduled follow-up appointment with a report of the procedures diagnosis.
What are the benefits of Capsule Endoscopy
Before capsule endoscopy, videoscopic exams of the small bowel were not possible. Although the capsule is only a diagnosis tool right now, the exam can lead to discoveries and life-saving diagnoses relaying to medical surgeries and treatments.
Capsule Endoscopy Risks
The capsule endoscopy exam is extremely safe, with only a few minor risks. The first risk, affecting 5% of all people who undergo this exam, is that the capsule does not pass through the bowels. However, less than 1% require surgery to retrieve the capsule. The second risk is that sometimes there can be a delay in the passage capsule, and therefore the recording has to be terminated. Once again, these risks are very small and highly unlikely, but they are still risks and need to be explained.
Dr. Berookim is double board-certified and fellowship-trained in gastrointestinal and liver diseases. So whatever your capsule endoscopy reveals, he has the knowledge, training and skill to diagnose the disorder and help you live a better life. Call us for information or an appointment.