What is a Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy?
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy describes capsule endoscopy as a procedure that lets your doctor examine the lining of the middle part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the three portions of the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum). Capsule endoscopy is performed using a small Pillcam that the patient swallows. The Pillcam then takes a video of the small intestine as it passes through and sends the video images to a small recording device, which is evaluated by your doctor.
There are x-ray studies that give us shadows and images of the small intestine and some of these do this relatively well. However, the best way to fully evaluate diseases of the small intestine is to look at it directly with a small bowel capsule endoscopy.
Why would I need a Capsule Endoscopy?
Capsule endoscopy allows your doctor to fully evaluate your small intestine, which cannot be reached by traditional upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. It is done to evaluate unexplained blood loss that cannot be determined by other examinations. Also, it is frequently done in the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease and it is used to locate small bowel ulcers, polyps or cancers.
Arshad Malik, MD uses the Given Imaging PillCam SB video capsule when performing Capsule Endoscopy procedures in Plano TX. To learn more about how the Given Imaging PillCam SB works watch the video below or visit their website at http://www.givenimaging.com.
Capsule Endoscopy – What Preparation is Required?
To ensure the best visualization of the small bowel for the capsule endoscopy study, you will be given written instructions regarding preparation and generally need to start on a clear liquid diet on the day prior to the procedure and not eat anything other than clear liquids for 2 hours after ingesting the pill capsule.
You can view the complete prep information by clicking on this link for a PDF version of the capsule endoscopy preparation instructions.
Capsule Endoscopy – What to Expect the Day of the Procedure?
- Capsule endoscopy is a painless procedure that requires no sedation
- You will come to our office at 830 am the day of the test to swallow the capsule with a small sip of water
- After the capsule is ingested and the recording device is attached, the patient is able to leave our office and return to work or home. Eight hours later, the capsule endoscopy exam has been completed and the recording device should be returned to our office. The photos are then downloaded to a computer for Dr. Malik’s viewing. You will be contacted by Dr. Malik’s office several days later, after the images have been read and interpreted.
- The capsule does not need to be retrieved after it is excreted
- No sedation is used, there are no driving restrictions with capsule endoscopy
- An MRI should not be performed until the capsule has been excreted from the body
Capsule Endoscopy – Are there Any Possible Risks?
Complications can occur but are rare when doctors who are specially trained and experienced in this procedure perform the test. Dr. Malik is board certified and has successfully performed this procedure on hundreds of patients in the Dallas TX and Plano areas.
However, there is potential for the capsule to be stuck at a narrowed spot in the digestive tract resulting in bowel obstruction. This usually relates to a stricture (narrowing) of the digestive tract from inflammation, prior surgery, or tumor. It’s important to recognize obstruction early and make Dr. Malik or his staff aware of it immediately. Possible symptoms of this obstruction include pain, unusual bloating, and nausea or vomiting.
Be careful not to prematurely disconnect the system as this may result in loss of video images being sent to your recording device
Is Capsule Endoscopy Procedure Covered By Insurance?
Capsule Endoscopy is a procedure that is covered by most insurance plans. However, as insurance coverage varies, it is suggested that you verify coverage with your insurance provider. If you or your insurance provider should need any clarification from Dr. Malik’s office, please contact us at 972-867-0019.
Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical condition