Why do I need a capsule endoscopy?
To find the cause of your stomach or abdominal problem, your doctor may use an innovative procedure called ‘capsule endoscopy’. This technology allows stomach examinations to be performed easily and comfortably. For the most part, capsule endoscopy is used to examine concerns with the small intestine, which are not well visualised by colonoscopy or gastroscopy. To be eligible for this medicare funded procedure you must have completed gastroscopy and colonoscopy and have low haemoglobin.
What is a capsule endoscopy?
The patient simply swallows a tiny capsule containing a miniscule camera, light bulb, battery and radio transmitter. This capsule records hundreds of photographs of the inside of the digestive tract as it passes through. The capsule sends the images to a small receiver worn around the waist.
After about 8 hours, the collected images are downloaded to the doctor’s computer and the disposable capsule is simply passed into the toilet and flushed away. The images help pinpoint areas of concern, such as unexplained bleeding, polyps, ulcers, tumours, signs of Crohn’s disease, so that the best treatment option is chosen.
Because the digestive tract needs to be free of any solid material to get the best photographs, patients follow a similar procedure to a colonoscopy.Preparing for a Capsule Colonoscopy