Capsule Endoscopy in Utah
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What is a small bowel capsule endoscopy?
A small bowel capsule endoscopy is an endoscopic examination in which a pill-sized capsule — equipped with a battery and camera — is swallowed and then utilized to capture a series of photos of the patient's small intestine. Around 60,000 pictures are collected, which, when assembled, make a "movie" of the patient's small bowel.
At Utah Gastroenterology, a small bowel capsule endoscopy is generally conducted to discover the cause of unexplained bleeding or anemia. It can be carried out to look at the small bowel to extensively evaluate an abnormal x-ray, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. Call our gastroenterology specialists in Utah to schedule a capsule endoscopy to make sure the health of your intestinal system is preserved.
What should my expectations be before my capsule endoscopy?
Your GI specialist will provide you with instructions on how to prepare your GI tract for your upcoming capsule endoscopy. In most situations, patients will be advised to eat normally the day prior to the exam. Patients will likely receive instruction to refrain from consuming anything orally following 7 p.m. the night before their capsule endoscopy. It is of the utmost importance to follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. There will also be supplemental directions regarding your medications. In most instances, your medications will be continued as normal a few hours after the pill capsule is ingested. However, in some circumstances, such as in individuals on blood thinners (i.e., Plavix®, Coumadin®, warfarin, anti-inflammatories, aspirin) and in diabetics, additional instruction will be administered.
What happens on the day of the capsule endoscopy procedure?
You will be instructed to show up at the office or endoscopy center 30 minutes before your capsule endoscopy. This is to make sure you have time to complete patient forms and prepare for the procedure. You will be asked to place a vest on which will hold the monitors that receive the transmitted images. When the vest is in place, the pill capsule will be activated, and then you will swallow it.
After the capsule is ingested, you will have the option to leave the endoscopy office. You will wear the vest for the next eight hours. You will be able to drink clear liquids once two hours have passed after the exam and may eat a regular meal after four hours. When eight hours have passed, you will return to the endoscopy unit, and the vest will be removed. To find out more about undergoing a capsule endoscopy in Utah, please schedule a consultation with one of our GI specialists at your earliest convenience.
When will I get my results from my capsule endoscopy?
Once the procedure is complete and the vest is removed, the images captured by the pill camera are downloaded into a computer program that assembles them into a "movie" of your small bowel. It could take your doctor many hours to completely review these photos. Exam results are generally ready within a week. You will typically be contacted by the ordering doctor's office with your results.
What are the risks of a capsule endoscopy?
Small bowel capsule endoscopy carries few risks and is largely considered to be a safe process. Statistically, complications occur in fewer than 1% of individuals. Typically, these complications are not life-threatening. However, should a complication develop, it might require hospitalization and surgery. Prior to the capsule endoscopy exam, a consent form will be reviewed with the patient by the Utah Gastroenterology nursing staff.
One possible risk is that the pill capsule could become lodged in the intestine, causing a blockage. This would generally require hospitalization and surgery.
It is imperative to call your physician's office as soon as possible if any symptoms develop after the capsule endoscopy, like increasing abdominal pain, fever, or bleeding.
Just like any other test, a small bowel capsule endoscopy may not be perfect. There is a small, acknowledged risk that abnormalities, such as malignancies, can go undetected at the time of the procedure. It is crucial to continue to follow up with your doctor as instructed and to inform them of any persistent or new symptoms.
Are there alternatives to a small bowel capsule endoscopy?
Depending on the reason why you require a small bowel capsule endoscopy, you may have alternative testing options. In the majority of instances, esophagogastroduodenoscopy is the ideal approach to evaluate abnormalities in the small bowel. However, an x-ray referred to as a small-bowel-follow-through may be utilized to examine the small intestine as well. An enteroscopy procedure can also be used to evaluate the upper part of the small intestine and can be used for therapy.
To find out more about noninvasive testing for issues in the small intestine, reach out to Utah Gastroenterology to schedule a consultation. Capsule endoscopy is just one of the ways in which our Utah GI physicians will do everything they can to make certain your health is optimized throughout all of the life stages.
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