By Colorado Center for Digestive Disorders
February 07, 2017
Category: Health
Tags: Capsule Endoscopy  

Have you heard about capsule endoscopy? The innovative new technology offers a minimally invasive way to view your small intestine. capsule endoscopyDr. Jonathan Jensen, your Longmont, CO, gastroenterologist at Front Range Gastroenterology Associates, explains how capsule endoscopy works.

What is capsule endoscopy?

During a traditional endoscopy procedure, your doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube into your mouth and passes it through your stomach and the first part of your small intestines. A tiny camera at the end of the endoscope transmits images to a digital screen.

No endoscope is needed with capsule endoscopy. Instead, you'll simply swallow a capsule that's about the size of a vitamin. As the capsule travels through your small intestine, a camera records images, which are transmitted to a small digital device you'll wear on your waist. The entire test takes about eight hours. At the conclusion of the test, you'll return the device to your doctor and he'll use the images to help him make a diagnosis.

What advantages does capsule endoscopy offer?

Capsule endoscopy offers two important benefits:

  • Convenience: When you have a traditional endoscopy procedure, you must spend several hours at the hospital or outpatient surgery center and can't drive for the remainder of the day due to the effects of the sedative. Since you simply swallow the capsule to start the capsule endoscopy process, you won't have to find time in your schedule to undergo a procedure and won't need a sedative.
  • A better view: Capsule endoscopy provides views of the middle section of your small intestines. During a colonoscopy or a traditional endoscopy, it's impossible to reach that area.

Why are capsule endoscopies recommended?

Capsule endoscopies are used to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease, locate the source of bleeding and find polyps, tumors and ulcers.

What do I have to do to get ready for capsule endoscopy?

You must stop eating and drinking for 12 hours before you swallow the capsule. Your Longmont gastroenterologist may also ask you to complete a bowel prep to clear your bowels and only drink clear liquid for the first two hours of the procedure. In most cases, you can have a light meal after four hours. Some medications must be temporarily stopped during the test. Your doctor will advise you which medications you may take.

Capsule endoscopy is a valuable tool that can help provide a diagnosis for your gastrointestinal symptoms. Call Dr. Jensen, your Longmont, CO, gastroenterologist at Front Range Gastroenterology Associates, at (303) 776-6115 to schedule your appointment and learn more about the test.

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