Capsule Endoscopy in Houston, TX

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A small bowel capsule endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure in which a pill containing a camera and battery) is ingested by the patient and then used to capture multiple images of the small bowel. About 60,000 pictures are taken, which, when compiled, essentially make a "movie" of the small intestine.

At Gastroenterology Consultants, a small bowel pill endoscopy is generally conducted to diagnose the cause of inexplicable anemia or bleeding. It could be used to assess the small intestine to extensively investigate an abnormal x-ray, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. Reach out to our gastroenterology specialists in Houston, TX to schedule a capsule endoscopy to make sure the health of your intestinal system is prioritized.

You should receive detailed instructions from your GI physician covering the necessary preparations for your upcoming capsule endoscopy. In most situations, patients will be allowed to eat normally the day prior to the procedure. Patients will likely be advised not to take anything by mouth after 7:00 p.m. the night before the capsule endoscopy. It is of the utmost importance to follow the directions provided to you by your specialist. There will also be supplemental directions regarding your medications. In most situations, your medications will be continued as usual a few hours after the pill capsule is ingested. However, in some situations, specifically in those on blood thinners (for example, aspirin, Coumadin®, Plavix®, warfarin, anti-inflammatories) and in those with diabetes, unique instruction will be provided.

Your Gastroenterology Consultants doctor will instruct you to arrive at the endoscopy center at least 30 minutes in advance of your appointment. This is to allow time to fill out paperwork and any preparation for the capsule endoscopy procedure. You will be instructed to place a vest on which holds the monitors that will receive the transmitted pictures. Once the vest is in place, the pill capsule will be activated and then swallowed.

After the pill capsule is swallowed, you will be able to leave the endoscopy center. You must wear the vest for the following eight hours. You will be permitted to drink clear liquids once two hours have elapsed after the exam and can eat a regular meal after four hours. After the eight-hour period, you will come back to the endoscopy office, and the vest will be removed. To learn more about having a capsule endoscopy in Houston, TX, please schedule an appointment with one of our GI physicians today.

After you've returned the vest, the images transmitted from the capsule will be downloaded into a computer program that then assembles the collection to generate a "movie" of your small intestine. It might take the physician many hours to carefully review these images. Exam results are generally ready within a week. You will be called by the ordering specialist's office with the capsule endoscopy results.

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A small bowel capsule endoscopy is a very safe procedure, by and large. Statistically, complications develop in fewer than 1% of patients. Typically, these complications are not life-threatening. Still, should a complication arise, it may require hospitalization and/or surgery. In advance of the exam, a consent form will be discussed with the patient by the Gastroenterology Consultants nursing staff.

One possible risk is that the pill capsule could get stuck in the intestine, resulting in an obstruction. This would likely lead to surgery and a hospital stay.

It is very important to call your physician's office immediately if any symptoms arise following the capsule endoscopy, such as increasing abdominal pain, fever, or bleeding.

Just like any other procedure, a small bowel capsule endoscopy is not flawless. There is a small, accepted risk that abnormalities, including cancers, might be missed during the exam. It is vital to continue to follow up with your doctor as directed and make them aware of any new or ongoing symptoms.

The available alternatives to a small bowel capsule endoscopy will mostly depend on the reason for ordering the procedure to begin with. In most situations, esophagogastroduodenoscopy is the most effective method to evaluate concerns in the small intestine. However, an x-ray referred to as a small-bowel-follow-through may be used to examine the small intestine instead. An enteroscopy exam is another option for evaluating the upper portion of the small intestine and may also be used for therapy.

If you want to learn more about this noninvasive technique for diagnosing ailments in the small intestine, please contact our team at Gastroenterology Consultants to request a consultation with a board-certified gastroenterologist. Capsule endoscopy is just one of the ways in which our Houston, TX gastrointestinal specialists will do all that they can to ensure your health is maintained throughout all seasons of life. We invite you to reach out at your earliest convenience.

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