Capsule Endoscopy in Washington
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What is a small bowel capsule endoscopy?
A small bowel capsule endoscopy is an endoscopic process where a pill-sized capsule containing a camera and battery is swallowed by the patient and is then used to capture photos of the small bowel or intestine. Approximately 60,000 pictures are collected. When compiled, provide a "movie" of the patient's small bowel.
At Washington Gastroenterology, a small bowel capsule endoscopy is often used to identify the primary cause of unexplained bleeding or anemia. It may be used to assess the small bowel to evaluate an atypical x-ray, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. Contact our GI providers in Washington to request a capsule endoscopy to ensure your intestinal health is prioritized.
What should I expect before my capsule endoscopy?
You will receive instructions and details from your GI provider regarding the necessary ways to prepare for your capsule endoscopy. Most patients will be permitted to eat normally the day before the exam. Patients will likely receive instruction to refrain from taking anything orally any later than 7:00 p.m. the night before the capsule endoscopy. It is essential to follow the directions provided to you by your provider. There will also be supplemental instructions regarding your medications. In most situations, your medications will be continued as usual a few hours after the pill capsule is ingested. However, special instructions will be given in specific circumstances, specifically in those on blood thinners (such as Coumadin®, warfarin, Plavix®, aspirin, and anti-inflammatories) and in diabetics.
What happens on the day of the capsule endoscopy procedure?
You will be asked to arrive at the endoscopy center or office 30 minutes prior to your scheduled procedure. This ensures you have time to complete paperwork and prepare for the capsule endoscopy procedure. You will be asked to wear a vest that holds the monitors that receive the transmitted pictures. When the vest is on, the pill capsule will be activated and given to you to swallow.
After you swallow the pill capsule, you can leave the endoscopy unit. You will wear the vest for the next eight hours. You will be allowed to drink clear liquids two hours after the exam and may have a regular meal after four hours. Once eight hours have passed, you will return to the endoscopy unit, and the vest will be removed. To learn more about undergoing a capsule endoscopy in Washington, please request a consultation with one of our local GI specialists at your earliest convenience.
When will I recieve the results from my capsule endoscopy?
When the process is complete, the images received from the capsule are downloaded to a software program that creates a "movie" of your small bowel. It might take your provider many hours to thoroughly review these photos. Exam results are generally available within a week. The ordering provider's office will typically contact you with the capsule endoscopy results.
What are the risks of a capsule endoscopy?
For the most part, the small bowel capsule endoscopy is an extremely safe procedure. Statistically, complications develop in fewer than 1% of patients. Generally, these complications are not life-threatening; still, if a complication occurs, it may require hospitalization and/or surgery. Before the exam, the Washington Gastroenterology nursing staff will review a consent form with the patient.
One possible risk is that the pill capsule could become stuck in the intestinal tract, creating an obstruction. This would likely require a hospital stay and surgery.
It is of the utmost importance to contact your provider's office immediately if symptoms arise after the capsule endoscopy, such as worsening abdominal pain, fever, or bleeding.
Like any other process, a small bowel capsule endoscopy may not be perfect. There is a slight, accepted risk that abnormalities, including cancers, could be missed during the procedure. It is vital to continue to follow up with your provider as directed and to make them aware of any ongoing or new symptoms.
Are there alternatives to a small bowel capsule endoscopy?
To a certain extent, the alternate options to this exam will depend on the cause of requiring a small bowel capsule endoscopy in the first place. In the majority of cases, esophagogastroduodenoscopy is the ideal method to evaluate issues in the small bowel. However, an x-ray called a small-bowel-follow-through can also assess the small intestine. An enteroscopy procedure is another option for evaluating the upper part of the small intestine and can be employed for therapy.
Noninvasive treatment to assist you
To get a noninvasive evaluation of your small intestine, request a consultation at Washington Gastroenterology. Capsule endoscopy is just one of the methods in which our Washington gastroenterologists will do all they possibly can to ensure that your health is optimized throughout all your life stages.
Great staff as always! The staff and Dr. Manam make an unpleasant procedure painless and quick. I truly appreciate all of them!
I have been seeing Dr. Schwartz for many years. He is the BEST! I would not know what to do if I couldn't see him anymore. He is very caring, and considers your entire health. He communicates well. He has guided me through several surgeries and procedures with outstanding results. I can't recommend him highly enough!
Dr Mohan has been my Gastroenterologist for the past 15 years. He continues to help me manage a long term chronic condition.
Dr. Ojeaburu has been my doctor for about the last 10 years. He has always been very good to provide answers to questions, he has a very nice bedside manor and does a good job!
The staff was professional, friendly and courteous throught the entire process.