Capsule endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure which allows Dr. Loria to see the middle portion of a patient’s gastrointestinal tract. This portion, which contains the small intestine, cannot be completely viewed by a traditional upper endoscopy or by a colonoscopy. The small intestine is actually responsible for 90% of food digestion and is frequently the source of unexplained symptoms (bleeding, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease). A capsule endoscopy requires the patient to swallow a camera capsule, that takes some 50,000 pictures of the entire small intestine over an 8-hour period.
Prior to any procedure, Dr. Loria will conduct a thorough consultation that includes a discussion about symptoms, taking a complete medical history and performing a physical examination. With this information in hand, Dr. Loria may order testing that includes laboratory work (analysis of blood, urine and stool samples) or imaging, such as a capsule endoscopy or x-ray studies. The reason for ordering a capsule endoscopy is usually to locate the cause of unexplained bleeding, abdominal pain or anemia. It may also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease).
This is a simple, completely painless procedure. In fact, it is used on children as young as 10 years old. No anesthesia or downtime is required. Minimal prep is necessary. Dr. Loria will discuss this, as well as, answer any questions in a consultation ahead of time. The video capsule is smooth in texture and the same size as a typical cold capsule. It is also disposable and is naturally eliminated from the body within 24-72 hours. Once the capsule is swallowed, patients are free to go about their normal daily activities and return the external recording device at the end of the day.
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