How Safe is Video Capsule Endoscopy Treatment for Patients?

Endoscopy is a non-invasive and nonsurgical method of examining the digestive tract and the digestive system of the body. For this procedure, Doctors will use the endoscope and gain access into the body by inserting it from the oral cavity. The endoscope has a small camera and will pass through the throat and move through the esophagus and stomach, so the doctor can see the inner areas of these areas on the computer monitor/screen. Endoscopy and video capsule endoscopy can be used for many different purposes including detecting ulcers, for diagnosing cancer, and understand the reasons for polyps and internal bleeding. The endoscopes can also be used to treat certain conditions. For instance, the endoscopes can be used to reach specific areas in the body and then use additional instruments that can remove the polyps of the colon so that internal bleeding can be stopped.

Capsule Endoscopy

While the earlier endoscopes had a greater length, the new capsule endoscopes are the size of a medication capsule. The miniature pill-sized cameras are enclosed within the shell of the capsule. Capsule endoscopy was approved by the FDA in the year 2001. The entire mirocam capsule endoscopy system consists of the ingestible pill video camera, computer software that provides a way for digital image interpretation, and a data recorder. Capsule endoscopy is also used for evaluation of gastrointestinal bleeding and diagnosis of various diseases including Crohn’s disease. It can be used for diagnosing tumors, polyposis syndrome, celiac disease, mal-absorption and abdominal pain among other conditions. A credible, capsule endoscopy manufacturer can offer exceptional quality endoscopes that provide detailed results for improved patient diagnosis.

The risk involved with endoscopy and video capsule endoscopy

Endoscopy and capsule endoscopy is considered to be one of the safest, non-invasive and low risk medical procedures today.  The Gastroenterologist and medical teams examine the patient before performing out the procedure. Some of the risks and complications associated with endoscopic procedures include sedation related problems, perforations, infection, pancreatitis, and bleeding. Many times these complications are found to be associated with existing medical conditions. There is no recovery time required for capsule endoscopy and it is considered to be an outpatient procedure.

When it comes to capsule endoscopy the retention of the capsule itself (a very rare incidence) is an underlying risk. Patients who suffer from diseases like Crohn’s disease and tumor, or who have undergone surgery previously may have a narrowing of their digestive tract causing strictures. For this reason, the capsule may become lodged within the digestive tract and may fail to leave the body through the normal processes even after several days. Therefore, physicians and other expert doctors may be required to perform CT scans to find out the extent of the structuring or narrowing, before conducting capsule endoscopy. The doctor may allow more time for the capsule to leave the body or he/she may choose to perform traditional endoscopy or surgery for removing the capsule if it gets stuck and is obstructing the bowel. Double balloon enteroscopy is the procedure used for retrieving the retained capsules. If the capsule is retained, certain medications can also be used for facilitating their passage. In some patients, there is a greater risk of capsule retention. A dummy or patency capsule can be used for testing purposes and to ensure that there are no blockages that can prohibit the actual capsule endoscope from passing through the digestive tract.

Preparations before endoscopy

The doctors will prepare the patients for undergoing capsule endoscopy. The patients are advised to stop drinking or eating anything for at least 12 hours before they undergo capsule endoscopy. The patients are also advised to refrain from taking certain medications and are told to refrain from heavy lifting or strenuous exercises after swallowing the capsule. The doctor may also provide the patients laxative prior to endoscopy so that the intestinal tract is clean and the capsule endoscope’s camera can provide clear images for evaluation.

Endoscopy and capsule endoscopy are highly safe and effective procedures for diagnosing as well as treating illnesses. It is important for the patient to follow the doctor’s instructions carefully so that no complications or side effects occur. It is also important to choose a credible endoscopy video capsule provider so that best diagnosis and treatment can be done.

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