A capsule endoscopy is a painless diagnostic procedure in which a patient swallows a small capsule containing a miniature camera. The capsule then travels through the digestive system, taking photographs and transmitting radio signals, which can help detect disorders in the small intestine.
What is it?
A capsule endoscopy is a safe, low-risk procedure. The patient swallows a capsule with a small camera inside that takes pictures as it passes through the patient’s digestive system. This method provides the doctors with an internal view of the intestines without having to make incisions.
What should I do to prepare?
The patient is asked to stop taking medications, eating, and drinking at least twelve hours prior to the procedure so that there is no interference with the imaging. The doctor may also ask the patient to clear the small intestine prior to the procedure by taking laxatives.
What happens during the process?
The patient will be asked to remove his or her shirt and will have patches placed on the body. The patches are transmitters that can send and receive signals from the capsule. As the capsule travels through the body, the patient won’t be permitted to eat or drink for two hours. After the procedure is completed, the patient may resume his or her day.
What are the risks and potential complications?
Capsule endoscopy comes with associated risks, that include, but are not limited to the capsule being trapped in the body and having an additional endoscopic procedure to remove the lodged capsule.
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