Capsule Endoscopy in San Antonio, TX
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What is a small bowel capsule endoscopy?
A small bowel capsule endoscopy is a process where a pill or capsule, which contains a camera and battery, is ingested by the patient and then used to take numerous pictures of the small intestine. An estimated 60,000 pictures are taken, which, when compiled, basically provide a "movie" of the small intestine.
At San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates, a small bowel capsule endoscopy is often performed to diagnose the cause of unexplained anemia or bleeding. It may be conducted to evaluate the small intestine to further examine an abnormal x-ray, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. Contact our gastrointestinal specialists in San Antonio, TX to schedule a capsule endoscopy to ensure your GI health is preserved.
What should I expect before my capsule endoscopy?
You will be given instructions from your GI specialist in regard to the necessary preparations you will need to make for your capsule endoscopy. In most cases, patients will be advised to eat normally the day before the exam. Patients will likely be instructed to refrain from ingesting anything by mouth any time after 7:00 p.m. the night before the capsule endoscopy. It is essential to follow the instructions provided to you by your physician. There will also be additional instructions regarding your medications. In most instances, you can continue your medications as normal a few hours after the pill capsule is swallowed. In some circumstances, however, especially for those on blood thinners (i.e. anti-inflammatories, aspirin, warfarin, Coumadin®, Plavix®) and for those who have diabetes, specific directions will be administered.
What happens on the day of the capsule endoscopy procedure?
You will be instructed to enter the office or endoscopy center 30 minutes before your appointed procedure. This is so you will have time to complete paperwork and any preparation for the capsule endoscopy procedure. You will be asked to put on a vest that holds the monitors, which will receive the transmitted images. When the vest is in place, the pill capsule will be activated and then swallowed.
After ingesting the capsule, you will have the option to leave the endoscopy center. The vest will need to be worn for the following eight hours. You will be able to drink clear liquids once two hours have passed following the exam, as well as eat a regular meal after four hours. After eight hours, you will return to the endoscopy center, and the vest can be removed. To learn more about undergoing a capsule endoscopy in San Antonio, TX, please request a consultation with one of our gastroenterologists at your earliest convenience.
When will I receive the results from my capsule endoscopy?
After the process is completed, the pictures acquired from the capsule are downloaded into a software program that produces a "movie" of your small bowel. It might take the physician several hours to completely view this "movie." Procedure results are typically ready within a week. You will be contacted by a member of our San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates team with your results.
Are there any risks with a capsule endoscopy?
Overall, the small bowel capsule endoscopy is an extremely safe procedure. Statistically, complications occur in less than 1% of patients. Generally, these complications are not life-threatening, but in the event that a complication occurs, it may require hospitalization and surgery. Prior to the capsule endoscopy exam, a consent form will be discussed with you by the San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates nursing staff.
One potential risk is that the pill capsule can become stuck in the intestinal tract, causing an obstruction. This would generally lead to hospitalization and surgery.
It is essential to call your doctor's office right away if symptoms develop following the capsule endoscopy, such as worsening abdominal pain, fever, or bleeding.
Just like any other medical test, a small bowel capsule endoscopy may not be perfect. There is a slight, accepted risk that conditions, such as malignancies, might be missed at the time of the exam. It is important to maintain follow-ups with your physician as advised and communicate about any ongoing or new symptoms.
What are alternatives to a small bowel capsule endoscopy?
To a certain extent, the alternatives to the procedure are based upon the reason for needing a small bowel capsule endoscopy to begin with. In most situations, esophagogastroduodenoscopy is the ideal method for evaluating issues in the small bowel; however, an x-ray called a small-bowel-follow-through can evaluate the small intestine as well. An enteroscopy procedure is another option for evaluating the upper portion of the small intestine and may also be utilized for therapy.
Noninvasive treatment to assist you
To receive an evaluation of your small bowel without undergoing surgery, contact us to request a consultation at a San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location in your community. Capsule endoscopy in San Antonio, TX is just one of the ways in which our GI specialists will do everything they can to ensure your health is optimized throughout all stages of life.
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