A tool for diagnosis
Capsule endoscopy is a procedure that helps diagnose many different diseases of the gastrointestinal tract that cannot be seen with other types of endoscopy. Capsule endoscopy involves swallowing a pill that contains a color video camera and a wireless radio frequency transmitter and enough battery power for an eight-hour journey through the digestive tract. Common reasons for doing capsule endoscopy include unexplained bleeding, unexplained iron deficiency, unexplained abdominal pain, search for polyps, ulcers and tumors of small intestine and inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s Disease. Capsule endoscopy may be right for you if you are experiencing any of the following conditions:
- Chronic Diarrhea and Abdominal Pain
- Crohn’s Disease
- Polyposis syndrome
- Abnormal imaging of gastrointestinal tract
- Obscure gastrointestinal blood loss been recommended for you
There are important steps you can take to prepare for and participate in the procedure:
- Provide a complete list of all the medicines you are taking — including any over-the-counter medications and natural
- Dr. Singh, Dr. Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin Parikh, Dr. Long B. Nguyen, Tammi D’Elena, PA-C; and Vanessa T. Dang, MSN, APRN; will also want to know if you have a heart, lung or other medical condition that may need special attention before, during or after Capsule Endoscopy.
- It is important they know if you are taking diabetic medications or anticoagulants (sometimes called blood thinners) or have bleeding or clotting problems.
- Patients are given instructions in advance that outlines what they should and should not do to prepare for capsule endoscopy.
- You must not eat or drink anything for at least six to eight hours before the procedure and clear liquid the entire day prior to the procedure.
- You will be asked to sign a form, which verifies that you consent to have the procedure and that you understand what is involved.
If there is anything you don’t understand, please ask for more information.
About the Procedure
During the procedure, everything will be done to help you be as comfortable as possible. Your blood pressure, pulse and blood oxygen level will be carefully monitored. Patients generally arrive at the office early in the morning where a sensory belt is applied to the patient’s abdomen, and a battery pack is attached to the patient’s waist. Next, a pill-sized video capsule containing a miniature video camera, light bulb, battery and transmitter is swallowed to photograph the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. As the capsule travels through the body, thousands of photographs are taken and transmitted to a small Bluetooth® receiver worn by the patient. You are not required to stay at the office during the procedure and may go on with your daily routine.
Dr. Singh, Dr. Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin Parikh, Dr.Long B. Nguyen, Tammi D’Elena, PA-C; and Vanessa T. Dang, MSN, APRN; will review the pictures and either discuss the results over the phone or at a scheduled follow-up appointment with a report of the diagnosis. It’s important to remember that capsule endoscopy can only help diagnose a problem. If treatment is required, a full endoscopic procedure may be necessary to remove and correct the problem.
Aftercare and Recovery
Two hours after the capsule has been swallowed, you can only have clear liquids. After four total hours, you may slowly reintroduce regular food and medication. After eight hours you must return to the Digestive Care Physicians’ office so that the photographs can be downloaded to a computer. The capsule will be passed in your feces within 48 hours with no further action needed.
Board-Certified physicians Dr. Singh, Dr. Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin Parikh, Dr. Long B. Nguyen, and providers Tammi D’Elena, PA-C; and Vanessa T. Dang, MSN, APRN; care for patients in the North Atlanta, GA area including Alpharetta GA; Johns Creek GA, Cumming GA, and Lawrenceville. The in-house endoscopy suite at Digestive Care Physicians is a certified facility which has achieved the highest level of accreditation by the Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). If you suffer from gastrointestinal problems or need a colorectal cancer screening, contact us at (770) 227-2222 to schedule an appointment.