Are you awake for an endoscopy?
If you have symptoms such as pain, blood in your stool or anus, gas or bloating, a colonoscopy is indicated. The doctor inserts an endoscope through the anus into the large intestine and can recognize pathological changes. At the same time, the doctor can take samples of the intestinal mucosa or remove polyps.
A colonoscopy with a camera capsule is a modern alternative to a conventional colonoscopy with an endoscope. Since inserting the flexible tube can be painful and uncomfortable, the patient is usually sedated so that he overslept the examination and does not experience any discomfort.
With a small intestine capsule you can assess the area of the small intestine (2-3 meters) that is not normally visible. It serves as a supplement to conventional endoscopy when certain symptoms such as bleeding, pain or unclear inflammation are present, or polyps are suspected in the small intestine.
The advantage of capsule endoscopy is that the patient does not have to be sedated and remains awake during the treatment. This way, the exam is less invasive and has fewer side effects. The disadvantage of capsule endoscopy, however, is that you cannot take tissue samples or remove polyps. It is a passive procedure, so that if the findings are unclear, no targeted examination can be made. In addition, a longer preparation and follow-up time is required.
The capsule has a light source, one or two cameras, as well as a transmitter and a battery. The patient either swallows it or the doctor can place it in the esophagus, stomach or upper small intestine with an endoscope, but this is only necessary in exceptional cases. The capsule then sends the recordings to a receiving device. This recorder is read out on the computer after approx. 8 hours of running time. The recordings will then be assessed by the doctor over the next few days.
The aim of a capsule endoscopy is to detect polyps or other changes in the intestine so that appropriate treatment can be initiated at an early stage.
Large intestine camera capsule: recognizing changes
A large intestine capsule has two cameras and is used to examine the large intestine. Just like with a normal endoscopy, with this method, too, patients must completely empty their bowels beforehand. This is done with the help of a laxative. The preparation here, however, takes 3 days (conventionally 1 day). During the passage of the large intestine capsule, it is also necessary that you consume clear liquid and a laxative substance according to a predetermined schedule so that the capsule actually passes through the entire large intestine. If you didn't do that, the investigation would take far too long. Capsule endoscopy can be used to examine the colon for changes. These can be polyps or inflammations, for example. The images will be evaluated in the following days and we will make an appointment to discuss the findings shortly after the examination.
Endoscopy with small intestine capsule
Capsule endoscopy can also be done in the small intestine. With this method of colonoscopy of the small intestine, which is usually not accessible for an endoscopic examination, it can be examined for pathological changes. These are, for example, polyps, sources of bleeding, diverticula or inflammation. Here, too, preparation with laxative solutions is necessary to ensure adequate cleanliness of the intestine. The capsule can be swallowed or placed in the small intestine as part of a gastroscopy.
Capsule endoscopy with Bravo capsule
If you have reflux disease with symptoms such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing, acid regurgitation or pain in the esophagus, a capsule endoscopy with a Bravo capsule can be performed. It is especially recommended if the symptoms are not alleviated by taking medication that usually works well (PPIs, H2 blockers). During the examination, we measure the acidity (pH) at the junction between the esophagus and the stomach. This is usually done with a probe placed over the nose, which measures the acid level over a 24-hour period. With the alternative of the Bravo capsule, it is attached to the wall of the lower esophagus at a defined point as part of a normal gastroscopy under visual inspection. It stays there for 24, usually 48 and more hours and takes an acid value measurement. The capsule then sends this data to the receiving device. At the end of the examination, the data is read out into a computer and assessed by a doctor in the days following the examination.
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