Capsule Endoscopy in Hattiesburg, MS

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A small bowel endoscopy is a type of endoscopic procedure wherein the patient swallows a pill (or capsule) that is able to capture pictures of the small intestine using an onboard camera. As it travels through the bowel, the capsule takes and transmits approximately 60,000 images, which, when compiled, essentially provide a "movie" of the patient's small intestine.

At Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC, a small bowel pill endoscopy is often conducted to identify the cause of unexplained bleeding or anemia. It could also be carried out to evaluate the small intestine in order to further investigate an atypical x-ray, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. Confer with our gastroenterologists in Hattiesburg, MS to schedule a capsule endoscopy to preserve the health of your intestinal system.

Your GI doctor should provide instructions and details regarding the required preparation for your capsule endoscopy. The majority of patients will be permitted to eat as they normally do the day prior to the exam. You will be instructed to refrain from taking anything orally any later than 7 p.m. the day before your capsule endoscopy. It is crucial to follow the guidelines given to you by your gastroenterologist. There will likely also be additional instructions regarding any medications you may be taking. In the majority of instances, your medications will be continued as normal a few hours after the pill capsule is ingested. However, in specific situations, especially in patients on blood thinners (e.g., warfarin, Coumadin®, Plavix®, aspirin, anti-inflammatories) and in diabetics, additional instructions will be provided.

You will be instructed to arrive at the office or endoscopy center 30 minutes in advance of your scheduled exam. This is to make sure you have time to fill out patient forms and take care of any preparation for the capsule endoscopy procedure. You will be asked to put on a vest that will hold the monitors used to receive the transmitted images. After the vest has been placed, the pill capsule will be activated and then given to you to ingest.

After the pill capsule is swallowed, you will be able to leave the endoscopy center. You will wear the vest for the following eight hours. You will be able to drink clear liquids once at least two hours have elapsed after the exam and may eat a regular meal after four hours. After the eight-hour window, you will return to the endoscopy center to have the vest removed. To hear more about having a capsule endoscopy in Hattiesburg, MS, please request a consultation with one of our gastrointestinal doctors at your earliest convenience.

After the process is complete, the images retrieved from the capsule are downloaded to a computer program that generates a "movie" of your small bowel. It may take the specialist many hours to carefully review this "movie." Procedure results are generally ready within a week. You will typically be contacted by the ordering physician's office with the capsule endoscopy findings.

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By and large, a small bowel capsule endoscopy is a very safe process. Complications are statistically rare, occurring in fewer than 1% of patients. Most complications are not life-threatening; however, in the event that a complication does arise, it could require a hospital stay and/or surgery. A member of the Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC nursing staff will review a consent form with you in advance of the procedure to make sure you understand any risks and have the chance to ask questions.

One possible risk is that the pill capsule could become stuck in the intestinal tract, resulting in an obstruction. This would typically lead to surgery and a hospital stay.

It is essential to contact your physician's office with no delay if symptoms arise after the capsule endoscopy, such as worsening abdominal pain, bleeding, or fever.

Just like any other medical test, a small bowel capsule endoscopy is not perfect. There is a small, accepted risk that conditions, including signs of cancer, may go undetected during the procedure. It is important to continue to follow up with your physician as instructed and inform them of any new or persistent symptoms.

There are alternative options to a small bowel capsule endoscopy, but your choices will depend largely on the reason why the procedure was ordered to begin with. In the majority of cases, a small bowel capsule endoscopy is the ideal approach to evaluate issues in the small intestine. However, an x-ray procedure referred to as a small bowel follow-through may be employed to survey the small intestine instead. An enteroscopy exam can also be used to evaluate the upper part of the small bowel and can be utilized for therapy.

If you're interested in a noninvasive option to examine your small bowel for disorders, reach out to request a consultation with a Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC provider. Our board-certified gastroenterologists are experts in the field and regularly provide capsule endoscopies in Hattiesburg, MS. Trust us to help you protect your digestive health throughout all seasons of life.

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