How a Capsule Endoscopy Can Help Diagnose Gastrointestinal Conditions

Count the development of capsule endoscopies among the many amazements of medical technology.

In the past, an endoscopy involved a long tube with a video camera attached to the end going either down your throat or up into your rectum. Now cameras are small enough to fit into a housing the size of a vitamin pill, and all you have to do is swallow it. As it travels through your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, it takes photos and helps Hardeep M. Singh, MD, FACP, AGAF, diagnose certain conditions.

Dr. Singh, who has offices in Orange and Irvine, California, has expertise in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), and other gastroenterology issues. The information he can get from the capsule endoscopy is vital in understanding your health issues and how to best treat them.

When you come to see us, we’ll determine what tools and procedures are best to most accurately analyze your condition, and sometimes it may be a combination of things.

Reasons to use a capsule endoscopy

A traditional endoscopy cannot always reach all areas of the small intestine. The camera inside the capsule, however, literally takes and records thousands of pictures, starting with the esophagus and traveling through your digestive tract. You wear a sensor belt that houses the computer, which records all the images.

Dr. Singh recommends the capsule endoscopy to diagnose several health issues you may be having, like:

It can also get information on any polyps you might have, though the technology still needs to improve for this part of it, and a more traditional method might also be used specifically for polyps.

The same goes for Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer, and while the capsule may give Dr. Singh an initial indication, another test called the Cytosponge™ (a capsulized sponge) may be required as a follow-up.

Before, during and after a capsule endoscopy

When you come in for your initial appointment, Dr. Singh makes sure you know to avoid iron and multivitamins starting three days before the procedure. You can eat a normal breakfast the day before, and you’re encouraged to drink a lot of fluids, but you’ll then go on a clear diet, including Miralax® laxative, the night before, and nothing after midnight.

The day of the procedure, you come to the office in the early morning, and we fit you with the sensor belt. Once that’s secure, you swallow the capsule with some water. You can have a normal day, but no exercising, lifting or bending, so taking it easy is a good idea.

You can resume your regular medication two hours after you’ve swallowed the camera, and can have a light meal four hours after. Eight hours later, you return the belt to our office and can eat whatever you want. You pass the camera capsule out within a week, and within 7-10 days, Dr. Singh evaluates the images and shares the findings with you.

Don’t ignore your gastrointestinal problems. The thousands of photos taken during your capsule endoscopy can accurately diagnose many gastrointestinal issues.

Visit Dr. Singh at either of his two offices and we’ll get to the bottom of what’s going on. Call us today or send us a message here on our website anytime to set up your consultation.

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