The traditional endoscopy made use of a long flexible tube with a video camera at either end. The tube was passed down the throat or up the rectum to get a better view of the insides of the gastric tract. However, this technique was not wholesome in its results. It failed to give an inside view of the small intestine because of its small size. This is where the need was felt to invent a better technique. Capsule endoscopy takes scientists where the traditional endoscopy failed or proved to be limited in its use.
What Is Capsule Endoscopy?
It is a modern and rather safe form of endoscopy which requires the swallowing of a capsule which is almost 4g in weight and the size of a vitamin pill. It comes with a transmitter which is fitted with a belt buckled around the waist. The capsule has a camera fitted inside it which helps take pictures of the track it passes through. As the capsule passes down the gastric tract, the camera takes multiple pictures which are then transmitted to the transmitter the patient wears on the waist.
The more the technique is gaining popularity, the more it is being used by surgeons to enable them to see visually, record and analyse the GI tract for any sort of abnormalities or infections. The capsule endoscopy is being used to help in the
- Detection of small bowel neoplasia
- Diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease
- Diagnosis of celiac diseases
- Diagnosis of GI bleeding
- Diagnosis of cancers
The capsule can be used to take images from any point of the track which allows it to be useful in taking images from the oesophagus down to the colon.
Some of the many benefits of the capsule endoscopy have been discussed below
- It is generally non-invasive which allows it to be used for pages above 70 years of age too.
- It is easily available and is carried out in almost all the hospitals.
- From the medical point of view, the capsule endoscopy allows the doctors to see the whole of the small intestine something which was not possible with traditional endoscopic techniques.
Risks, if any
The capsule endoscopy is famous because it is a very safe procedure. If the patient has followed all the pre-procedural measures, the technique should be fairly simple to carry out. The only risk that it presents is for the patients who have undergone some surgery in the past or have tumours. The fact that any such issue might constrict the path of the capsule can be a cause of concern. Some patients have also complained of mild skin irritation something which is easily treatable with topical creams.
Capsule endoscopy involves a fasting of 6 to 10 hours prior to the procedure and the usage of laxatives at least 5 days before the procedure is carried out to empty the stomach. It is an FDA approved technique which is proving to be very beneficial in many GI related issues and problems.