Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy
What is Capsule Endoscopy?
Capsule Endoscopy lets Dr. Ahmed examine the lining of the middle part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the three portions of the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum). Your doctor will use a pill sized video capsule called an endoscope, which has its own lens and light source and will view the images on a video monitor.
Why is Capsule Endoscopy Done?
Capsule endoscopy helps Dr. Ahmed 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), ulcers, and tumors of the small intestine.
How Should I Prepare for the Procedure?
An empty stomach allows for the best and safest examination, so you should have nothing to eat or drink, including water, for approximately twelve hours before the examination. Our office will tell you when to start fasting.
Tell our office of the presence of a pacemaker, previous abdominal surgery, or previous history of obstructions in the bowel, inflammatory bowel disease, or adhesions.
What Can I Expect During Capsule Endoscopy?
Your doctor will prepare you for the examination by applying a sensor device to your abdomen with adhesive sleeves (similar to tape). The capsule endoscope is swallowed and passes naturally through your digestive tract while transmitting video images to a data recorder worn on your belt for approximately eight hours. At the end of the procedure you will return to the office and the data recorder is removed so that images of your small bowel can be put on a computer screen for physician review.
What Happens After Capsule Endoscopy?
You will be able to drink clear liquids after two hours and eat a light meal after four hours following the capsule ingestion, unless we instruct you otherwise. You will have to avoid vigorous physical activity such as running or jumping during the study.
What are the Possible Complications of Capsule Endoscopy?
Although complications can occur, they are rare when doctors who are specially trained and experienced in this procedure, such as members of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, perform the test. Potential risks include complications from obstruction. This usually relates to a stricture (narrowing) of the intestine from inflammation, prior surgery, or tumor. It’s important to recognize early signs of possible complications. If you have evidence of obstruction, such as unusual bloating, pain, and/or vomiting, call your doctor immediately. Also, if you develop a fever after the test, have trouble swallowing or experience increasing chest pain, tell your doctor immediately.