Overview of Small Bowel Evaluation

Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy, also known as Pillcam, is an essential diagnostic tool that we utilize to examine the small bowel to determine whether or not a disease is present. This kind of endoscopy can access areas of the small intestine that cannot be seen during a conventional panendoscopy (gastroscopy) or colonoscopy procedure. Patients undergoing the Pillcam technique must consume a capsule that conceals a tiny camera as part of the process.

The photographs are then wirelessly transmitted to a recorder worn around the waist after the capsule completes its journey through the digestive tract and continues to take pictures with the camera contained within it. Within one to two days, the capsule is often expelled out of the body without causing discomfort along with the feces.

Traditional endoscopic treatments offer several benefits, but the Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy provides numerous additional benefits, including eliminating the need for anesthesia, reducing the likelihood of discomfort, and reducing the risk of complications. Unfortunately, specific procedures, such as collecting specimens or taking biopsies, are impossible during a Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy. This means that additional procedures may be required if it is determined that they are medically necessary.

Conditions Diagnosed Using PillCam Small Bowel Capsule?

Small-Bowel-Evaluation is able to detect signs of problems with the digestive system and assist in the diagnosis of a wide variety of conditions. If your doctor suspects that you may have any of the following conditions, he or she may suggest that you undergo a small-bowel evaluation:

  • Crohn’s disease and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Bleeding in the intestines
  • Celiac disease 
  • Colon polyps or colon and rectal cancer
  • Ulcerative colitis 

Small-Bowel-Evaluation can help your doctor:

  • Investigate the possibility of having Crohn’s disease.
  • Monitor celiac disease
  • Investigate the factors that could be causing your unexpected weight loss or anemia.

Small-Bowel-Evaluation is another method that can assist medical professionals in visualizing the interior of the colon, particularly in patients who are unable to endure the anesthesia required for colonoscopy or any of its other components.

Preparing for a Procedure

When getting ready for a Small-Bowel-Evaluation, it’s crucial to adhere to your doctor’s orders. The following are some things your doctor might suggest you do:

1. Do not smoke in the 24 hours preceding the procedure.

2. Before your procedure, hydrate with clear liquids such as water, sports drinks, apple juice, or anything else you can see through.

3. To ensure that the camera can clearly observe the intestines’ surfaces during the procedure, take a laxative at night before. Your doctor will advise you on the best laxative and how to make it.

4. You mustn’t eat anything before your procedure.

5. Don’t eat anything before the procedure.

6. Your skin needs some prepping. For the sensors that attach to your body and read the data from the capsule, your doctor may ask you to shave a small area of your stomach or chest.

7. Share your medication history with your doctor. The doctor will prescribe specific timing for taking them to avoid any potential complications during testing.

What happens after swallowing the PillCam Small Bowel Capsule?

After taking the capsule, you can carry on your day normally while wearing the electrodes and the belt. As the pill makes its way through your digestive system, you won’t feel a thing. But you need to be assured of certain things like:

  • Stay away from intense physical activity, unexpected stops, and any bending or jarring motions.
  • Until the capsule has left your body, you should avoid MRI machines, ham radios, and powerful magnetic fields. Computers and mobile phones are safe to use.

Resume Eating & Drinking

You will receive specific guidelines from your doctor on how to resume eating normally.

Return the Equipment

Eight hours after taking the endoscopic capsule, or sooner if you have a bowel movement, you will return the electrodes or belt and recorder.

Flush the Capsule

Do not worry if the capsule does not appear in your bowel movements on the first day after taking it. It should pass the next day or so. If your doctor didn’t utilize a capsule equipped with its own data storage system, there’s no need to retrieve it; it can be securely flushed down the toilet.

Dr. Preetha Thomas is available for consultations regarding any concerns you may have with your digestive health. For an appointment, call at 0123674504 or 0123674505.

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