Monday, June 7, 2010

Capsule Enteroscopy - Full review

 Capsule enteroscopy is a recent, non-invasive alternative to other procedures that can help your doctor examine your small intestine to detect ulcers, polyps, sources of bleeding and other conditions and possible diseases

Unlike an endoscopy, which examines the esophagus and parts of the stomach, or a colonoscopy that views the lower intestines and colon, a capsule enteroscopy lets your gastroenterologist, Doctor will study your small intestine. This area, which is normally difficult or impossible to visually examine, can be seen by use of a capsule enteroscopy, and the process is non-invasive and painless.

 

What Do I Need to Have a Capsule Enteroscopy?

Before the procedure can begin, you will need to fast for about ten hours. This makes the procedure very safe and gives the best results since there will be very little in the intestines to obstruct the capsule or its view. The capsule will be swallowed with a substance to prevent bubbles that can interfere with the images.

The small capsule you swallow contains both a source of light and a tiny camera, along with a transmitter and batteries to run them all. To record the images, which the camera takes at a rate of three or so pictures each second, a small device the size of a beeper is worn at the waist and this device receives signals from the capsule through antennae taped to your skin.

How Long Does a Capsule Enteroscopy Take?

As the capsule passes through your intestines, it will continue to take pictures until it completely passes from your system. This may be as short as eight hours, but is normally a matter of two to three days. The capsule may take much longer, but if it has not been eliminated in two weeks, your doctor should be notified. After the capsule has left your body, it has no further use and is discarded.

What is Capsule Enteroscopy Used For?

In addition to checking for tears and sores in the small intestine that cause bleeding, capsule enteroscopy can provide images of ulcers and polyps. It is helpful for diagnosing Crohn's disease or identifying tumors.

What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Capsule Enteroscopy?

As a non-invasive procedure, those having a capsule enteroscopy don't require any sedatives, hospitalization, or recovery time. Although there is a possibility the capsule may become lodged in the intestine, this is a very rare occurrence. The images are not of the best quality, however, and the speed with which the capsule moves through the intestine cannot be controlled. The camera, also, may not be facing the right way when it takes a picture, but capsule enteroscopy is an excellent tool your doctor may choose as part of your diagnosis.



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