Capsule endoscopy

What is capsule endoscopy?

Capsule endoscopy is an exciting technique available at The Holly Private Hospital.  A disposable vitamin pill-sized capsule containing a colour camera, batteries, flashlight and transmitter is swallowed by the patient to enable complete visualisation of the small intestine as the camera moves through the digestive tract naturally.  Images are taken twice a second for eight hours and are transmitted to sensors on the abdomen then onto a receiver worn around the waist.  The images are then downloaded to a special computer where they are interpreted and can be stored on CD.

What are the advantages of this procedure?

The procedure can help diagnose obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, malabsorption and chronic diarrhoea.  It can also be useful in specific conditions such as Crohns disease, coeliac disease, small bowel tumours and polyp forming syndromes such as Peutz-Jagers syndrome.  For some patients, capsule endoscopy may negate the need to undergo procedures such as Barium Enema.

Is it possible for the capsule to get stuck?

To reduce the risk of obstruction, patients are required to undergo a patency assessment prior to the procedure.  The assessment involves ingesting a soft dummy capsule.  This capsule dissolves after 40 hours and can be tracked through the body using a hand-held tracking device.

Is capsule endoscopy suitable for all patients?

Not all consultants use this procedure and it is not suitable for all patients.  Following discussion, your consultant will be able to advise you of the suitability of capsule endoscopy for your particular condition.

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Capsule endoscopy Consultants

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