If you are curious about Video Capsule Endoscopes, then look no further for all the information you need. Find out below what is involved in a Video Capsule Endoscopy procedure, what you should do to prepare and more when you continue reading below.

What is a Video Capsule Endoscopy?

An endoscopy refers to a technique to look inside the body and more specifically to look inside the digestive tract. A capsule endoscopy is a painless examination in which a vitamin sized pill takes pictures as it travels along your esophagus and small intestine. Once swallowed, the pill follows the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and send multiple pictures to a recording device. The capsule will not be digested and will be removed through normal bowel movements. The capsules will not harm the environment or household plumbing.

Why a Video Capsule Endoscopy?

A video capsule endoscopy provides a more detailed look at the digestive system than an X-ray can provide. Your doctor will use the images to help make a better diagnoses and evaluation of varying conditions. These include: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), diarrhea, polyps, bleeding, malabsorption, abdominal pain, tumors, and bowel function.

Preparing for Your Video Capsule Endoscopy

Patients will be given specific instructions that will outline what should and should not be done in preparation for a video capsule endoscopy. Most common are avoiding smoking and taking medication right before the test, as well as fasting for at least two hours. Dress in loose fitting clothes the day of the procedure. Our gastroenterologists will review the procedure with you and make sure that you understand what will be done.

During Your Test

Esophageal Capsule Endoscopy

A sensor will be taped onto your chest that will be connected to a recording device that you will wear around your waste throughout the procedure. The capsule will be swallowed with water while laying flat on your back and every two to six minutes, you will be raised 30 degrees until you are sitting upright. By gradually sitting up, the capsule travels more slowly, allowing more time for more pictures to be taken. After around 20 minutes, the test is complete and the sensors will be removed. You will be free to leave the office while the doctor downloads and analyzes the images.

Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy

A sensor will be taped to your abdomen that will be connected to a recording device that you will wear around your waste throughout the procedure. The capsule will be swallowed with water and then you will be free to leave and go about your regular routine. You will be given a form to record the time and nature of sensations and activities (including eating and drinking). Activities to avoid include physically strenuous activities and bending over. The data recorder will blink to confirm if it is receiving data; if it does not blink, you should contact your physician.

After approximately eight hours, you will return to the doctor’s office and the sensors will be removed. You will turn in your activity log and data recorder at this time.

After Your Test

Our gastroenterologists will examine the video and pictures from the recorder when returned. After a few days, you will receive the results of your capsule endoscopy. The capsule will continue moving through your digestive tract and will be eliminated through normal bowel movements in the next two to three days. The capsules are meant for one time use, so there is no need to attempt to retrieve the device.

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