Capsule Endoscopy

Capsule Endoscopy

Capsule endoscopy is a pill-shaped camera used to examine the small bowels.

There are different types of capsule cameras. There are systems with four cameras that can only see from the front, have cameras on both ends, and can see 360 degrees all around.

In some capsule endoscopes, the patient carries a cell phone-like receiver on his or her body. This receiver records the images from the capsule in the small intestine. Images are sent from the inside out in the form of radio-frequency waves. There is no need to follow these types of capsules in the stool. When it is excreted with faeces, recording ends.

In some other types, the images are stored in the memory inside the capsule itself, and the patient has to obtain the capsule from the stool through a special plastic filter. The obtained capsule data and images should be taken to the doctor’s office for analysis.

Capsule endoscopy is mainly produced not for the examination of the stomach or the large bowels, but for the examination of the small bowels. This will be understood given the width of the stomach and the large bowels. Voluntary movement of the capsule is currently out of the question. Therefore, depending on the posture of the capsule in the stomach and the large bowel, the ideal image may not be taken. However, since the small bowel is only tight enough for the capsule to pass through, it will show the small bowel during its course. Therefore, capsule endoscopy is ideallymore suitable for examining the small intestines and gives better results.

For what purpose is capsule endoscopy applied?

Investigation of an unexplained anaemia

If the investigations that examine the patients with iron deficiency anaemia cannot find a bleeding source in the stomach or the large bowels with the endoscopic methods at the end of the examination, the small bowel is suspected. The method of double balloon enteroscopy can be used to see the lesion, which can cause bleeding in the small bowels. However, this process is time-consuming and expensive for patients and physicians, which are performed in very few centres. Therefore, before such a challenge capsule endoscopy which is simpler, easier, and much more effortless, should be preferred by the patient.

Unexplained abdominal pains

Likewise, in some cases, abdominal pain cannot be explained by endoscopy, colonoscopy, all abdominal CT and MRI. In this case, capturing the video of the small intestines with a length of 3-4 meters by capsule endoscopy will be the next step.

Follow-up of Crohn disease

Capsule endoscopy of the small intestine segments that cannot be directly seen will be effective when it is difficult to decide whether the disease is active or in remission when the symptoms continue in Crohn’s patients under treatment.

Celiac disease

In patients with celiac disease clinic, sometimes the affected areas may not be diagnosed by normal endoscopy because the affected areas are in the form of a patch. In this case, capsule endoscopy examinations showing all the small intestines will be useful to see the lesions at distances that cannot be reached by normal endoscopy.

How to prepare for capsule endoscopy?

Patients should be hungry for the last 12 hours before the procedure. Some authors also recommend preparing like preparation of colonoscopy for the capsule endoscopy. Others don’t think that’s the necessity. According to my personal opinion, it is not exactly like the colonoscopy, but a mild bowel cleansing would be appropriate.

Application of the capsule endoscopy

After the capsule endoscopy  camera is activated, it is drunk with a glass of water.   Nothing is taken orally for two hours after swallowing.   Transparent, clear, colourless liquids and drugs   can be taken after four hours can be started 

After an average of eight to ten hours, the capsule reaches out of the anus.  In rare cases, it can take up to 72 hours for the capsule to come out. In capsule types that record with detectors on the body, there is no harm in going to the toilet when the capsule is discarded like faeces. 

Which keeps images in its own memory   In Capsule Camera types, it is prevented from falling into the toilet with a plastic apparatus in the form of a filter placed in the toilet. Water is poured over the capsule, which is held with a special magnetic tip rod, and placed cleanly in the carrying container and delivered to the clinic for analysis.

For more detailed information on capsule endoscopy,  click on the links below.

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