Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy (Pill Cam)
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CAPSULE ENDOSCOPY

What is small bowel capsule endoscopy (PillCam SB)? 
Small bowel capsule endoscopy enables your doctor to examine the three portions (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum) of your small intestine.  Your doctor will use a vitamin-sized pill video capsule as an endoscope, which has its own camera and light source.  While the video capsule travels through your body, images are sent to a data recorder you will wear on a waist belt.  Most patients consider the test comfortable.  Afterwards, your doctor will view the images on a video monitor.

Capsule Endoscopy helps your doctor determine the cause for recurrent or persistent symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, bleeding or anemia, in most cases where other diagnostic procedures failed to determine the reason for your symptoms.  In certain chronic gastrointestinal diseases, the method can help to evaluate the extent to which your small intestine is involved or to monitor the effect of therapeutics. 

What should I expect during Capsule endoscopy?  
The PillCam endoscope is ingested and passes naturally through your digestive tract while transmitting video images to a data recorder worn on a belt for approximately eight hours. 
You will be able to eat four hours after swallowing the capsule ingestion unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. The capsule is disposable and passes naturally with your bowel movement.  You should not feel any pain or discomfort during capsule excretion.

What should I expect after Capsule endoscopy?  
At the end of the procedure, you will need to return to the office to return the equipment (waist belt, data recorder, battery pack & sensor array). The images acquired during your exam will be downloaded to a workstation for physician review.  After the doctor has looked at this video, you will be contacted with the results.  After ingesting the capsule and until it is excreted, you should not have a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) examination or be near a MRI device.

What are the possible complications of Capsule endoscopy? 
Although complications may occur, they are rare when staff are specially trained and experienced in this procedure perform the test.  A potential risk could be retention of the capsule.  It is important for you to recognize early signs of possible complications.  If you have a fever after the test, trouble swallowing, increasing chest or abdominal pain, tell your doctor immediately.