Even though it may seem futuristic, physicians can now perform a wireless endoscopy by having a patient swallow a video camera the size of a large pill.
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This procedure is done to give your physician a look at the small intestine, which cannot be reached by traditional upper endoscopy. The most common reason for having this procedure is to identify the cause of bleeding from the small intestine. It is also used to help detect polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s Disease), ulcers and tumors of the small intestine.
You start a capsule endoscopy by swallowing a small Given Imaging M2A® Capsule (the size of a large vitamin) which will pass naturally through your digestive system while taking pictures of the intestine. The images are transmitted to a sensory device that is placed on your abdomen. These sensors are attached to the portable Given® Data Recorder that is worn around your waist, which will save all the images. After 8 hours the Given® Data Recorder will be taken off by our staff. You will be required to stop oral iron supplements one week prior.
At our office, the Sensor Array will be applied to your abdomen with adhesive pads and will be connected to the Given® Data Recorder which is worn on a belt around your waist. You will then be instructed to ingest the Given Imaging M2A® Capsule. After ingesting the Capsule, do not eat or drink for 2 hours. After 2 hours you may drink clear liquids. After 4 hours you may have a light lunch and resume medications. After completion of the study, you may return to your normal diet. Contact your physician immediately if you have any abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting anytime after ingesting the Given Imaging M2A® Capsule.
An empty stomach provides the safest and best results. You should let your doctor know if you have a pacemaker, history of bowel obstructions, adhesions, inflammatory bowel disease or have had previous abdominal surgery. Also, alert your care provider to any allergies or conditions such as heart or lung disease. Your physician will provide you with complete prep instructions.
You should tell your healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you take. Some – particularly iron supplements – may need to be adjusted in the days leading up to your capsule endoscopy.
The Capsule Endoscopy will last 8 hours. During the Capsule Endoscopy try to avoid any strenuous physical activity. Do not bend or stoop during the Capsule Endoscopy. In addition, you should not remove the belt at any time during this period.
Every 15 minutes during the Capsule Endoscopy, you need to verify that the small green/blue light on top of the recorder is blinking. If it stops, please record the time and contact our office. Also record the time and nature of any event such as eating and drinking, and any unusual sensations. Return these notes to your physician at the time you return the equipment.
The Given Imaging M2A® Capsule is disposable and will be excreted naturally in your bowel movement.
Complications from capsule endoscopy are rare when the procedure protocols are followed. However, with any procedure there are always potential risks. One possible complication is obstruction, which is usually due to a stricture (narrowing) of the intestine from inflammation, a tumor or prior surgery.
If you have any symptoms of obstruction, call our office immediately. These symptoms include unusual bloating, pain and vomiting. If you experience chest pains, have difficulty swallowing or develop a fever, please call our office right away. However, do NOT disconnect the recorder until you are told to do so.