When people hear the term endoscopic examination, most of them recall the discomfort of traditional endoscopy, based on their own experience or film memories. Thanks to the development and widespread use of capsule endoscopy, instrumental examination of the digestive tract can now be performed without anaesthesia and without any pain.
Introduced around the turn of the millennium and continuously improved since then, capsule endoscopy has opened up a new way of painlessly mapping the digestive tract. A miniature camera in an ingestible capsule allows a detailed, uncomfortable scan of the small intestine and the large intestine.
In what cases can capsule endoscopy help?
- small bowel and large bowel screening
- detecting the source of bleeding
- identifying the causes of pain
- Detection of abnormalities caused by Helicobacter Pylori bacteria
- diagnosing tumours
Since capsule endoscopy is not yet suitable for histological sampling and can only provide partial information on certain sections of the alimentary canal, it is not a full substitute for conventional endoscopy.
Despite the fact that colon cancer could be fully curable if diagnosed early (it can take up to 10-15 years to develop), it is one of the most common types of cancer in Hungary, and is fatal. The main reason for this sad figure is that the majority of people only consult a specialist when they have intolerable symptoms - and then treatment is not very effective.
What are the benefits of capsule endoscopy?
- no risk of infection
- can be performed without anaesthesia
- does not require air injection
- no radiation exposure
- can be done without hospitalisation
Passing the capsule through the intestinal tract does not cause any complaints. All you need is a glass of water - you can eat 4 hours later if you took a small intestine capsule and 7 hours later if you took a colon capsule. The operating time of the testing instrument is approximately 8-10 hours. It passes naturally, unnoticed, with the faeces.
The procedure for capsule endoscopy
To ensure a successful examination, the required diet must be strictly followed and the required bowel cleansing must be performed before the capsule endoscopy. Depending on the section of the intestine to be tested (the small and colon are tested with different capsules), only water consumption is allowed the day before the swallowing of the test device, or complete fasting is required.
The capsules move through the intestinal tract, taking images or continuous film of the small intestine or the colon, depending on their speed. The image information is transmitted via electrodes attached on the abdominal skin to a radiofrequency (RF) receiver unit on the waist. The stored information is evaluated by a gastroenterologist using a computer program.
Experiencing abdominal complaints of unclear origin? Have you had a cancer of the intestinal tract in your family and would you like to have a painless screening test? Do not hesitate to contact the experts of UDyouMED.