Small intestine is very long, approximately measuring 20 feet. It is not easy to examine the entire length of the small intestine. Thankfully, capsule endoscopy lets Dr. Kethu examine the entire small intestine. Capsule endoscope is a small, pill-sized video camera that you swallow.
The most common reason for doing capsule endoscopy is to search for a cause of bleeding from the small intestine. It may also be useful for detecting Crohn’s disease, ulcers, tumors of the small intestine.
Our office will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare for capsule endoscopy. Generally, you will be asked to stop iron supplements if you’re taking them. You’ll also be asked to take anti-gas medications such as Gas-X prior to capsule endoscopy.
You will come to our office in the morning of the procedure. You will be given the capsule endoscope to swallow with few sips of water. You’ll resume normal activity. The capsule endoscope will naturally pass through the small intestine while taking the video of the entire small intestine. You will carry a recorder that will record all the video images that were sent wirelessly by the capsule endoscope. You will be able to drink clear liquids after 2 hours and light meal 4 hours after you swallow the capsule. At the end of the day, he will return to the office and the data recorder is removed so that the images can be downloaded to our computer for Dr. Kethu to review.
Complications are very rare with capsule endoscopy. If there is narrowing of the bowel due to inflammation or tumor, sometimes capsule can get stuck causing blockage of the intestine that may require surgery to remove it.