Capsule endoscopy might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but this innovative technique is actually a widely used tool in diagnosing digestive health conditions. Capsule endoscopy is among the services available from Brandon Rieders, MD, and Bradley Rieders, MD, of GastroCare LI, in Valley Stream, New York. To book a visit at the practice, call or click to find a time that fits your schedule.

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What is capsule endoscopy?

Capsule endoscopy is a diagnostic tool that uses a tiny device to gather imaging of your digestive tract. The device is shaped like a capsule and contains a camera that takes thousands of photos as it moves through your digestive system.

The capsule is small enough to pass completely through your digestive tract without causing harm. Capsule endoscopy allows your gastroenterologist to assess areas of your digestive tract that other options simply cannot access.

Why would I need to have a capsule endoscopy?

This exciting diagnostic option is used in several ways. Some of the reasons your specialist might suggest capsule endoscopy include:

  • Examining the lining of your esophagus
  • Searching for the cause of gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Diagnosing cancer
  • Screening for polyps
  • Diagnosing celiac disease
  • Searching for signs of Crohn’s disease

Capsule endoscopy also offers the chance to follow up after other forms of imaging like X-rays.

What is the process like for getting capsule endoscopy?

It’s important to avoid eating and drinking for a period of 12 hours leading up to your procedure. The team at GastroCare LI might also advise you to take a laxative to flush out your small intestine prior to capsule endoscopy.

Placing the capsule is an incredibly simple process. You simply swallow it with water. The device is shaped like a large vitamin and is coated with a special material to make it easier to swallow. Once you swallow the capsule, you won’t be able to feel it as it moves through your digestive tract.

You’ll wear a recording device in a bag or special belt. The device gathers the images from the capsule and stores them. You may be asked to wait a couple of hours before you can drink clear beverages and before you eat a light meal.

There is nothing left to do but wait until you have your next few bowel movements. It’s important to look to see if the capsule was expelled with your stool. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days for the capsule to make its way out of your body. There is no need to collect the device; you can simply flush it down the toilet.

If you’d like more information about capsule endoscopy, book a visit online or by phone today.