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Capsule Endoscopy in Beverly Hills

Non-Invasive Gastrointestinal Diagnosis with the PillCam

Traditional endoscopies are very effective at examining the upper GI tract, but unfortunately they have some limitations when it comes to the small intestine. However, thanks to the development of the PillCam, there’s finally an easy method of viewing and diagnosing issues in the small intestine, most notably Crohn’s Disease. We know that chronic gastrointestinal conditions can be both painful and frustrating, but at The Center for GI Health, we’re committed to ensuring that your diagnosis is straightforward, easy, and effective. When you visit our center, we’ll provide you with the most innovative treatments available to help you begin to heal.

Contact Dr. Ari Nowain and The Center for GI Health today at (310) 657-4444 to learn more about capsule endoscopy.

What Is the PillCam, and How Does It Work?

Developed in Great Britain in 2000, the PillCam is a miniature wireless camera with a functioning light source that can be swallowed as easily as you would swallow a large pill. Weighing only 4 grams and measuring only 1.02” in length, the PillCam can detect areas that pass unnoticed in a traditional upper endoscopy, making it ideal for gastrointestinal disorders that affect the small intestine. Because it passes through your entire digestive tract, the PillCam can also identify select issues in the stomach. And, as of 2014, the FDA has formally approved its use in the colon, meaning select patients may be able to bypass a full colonoscopy. Although capsule endoscopy is capable of identifying some stomach and colon disorders, it’s best to discuss with your doctor first to determine if the procedure is right for you.

Some of the disorders capsule endoscopy can identify include:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease)
  • Bleeding of the small bowel
  • Celiac disease
  • Tumors of the small intestine
  • Colon polyps
  • Small bowel ulcerations

What Can I Expect at My Capsule Endoscopy?

Because of its simplicity, a capsule endoscopy diagnostic procedure does not take long or require any anesthesia. You’ll simply swallow the PillCam along with a glass of water, and then the images will be transmitted to a receiver on your belt. Once the PillCam has been in your digestive tract for about 8 hours, you will return the receiver to the doctor. There’s no need to return the PillCam itself: It can be discarded once it has passed through your colon and into your stool.

There are a few things that you should keep in mind before you begin the exam, however. The doctor will likely ask you not to eat or drink for 10-12 hours beforehand in order to keep your stomach clear, and if you’re currently taking medications, you may need to halt them for the duration of the procedure. Once you’ve ingested the PillCam, avoid clear liquids until two hours have passed, and do not eat for at least four hours afterwards. We also provide a FAQs resource for some commonly asked questions related to the procedure.

If you’re interested in learning more about this innovative procedure, contact our Beverly Hills gastroenterologist today.  

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