Capsule Endoscopy in Northwest Arkansas

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A small bowel capsule endoscopy allows your gastroenterologist to diagnose problems of the small intestine with the help of a pill-sized capsule containing a camera. An estimated 60,000 photos are captured, which, when put together, in essence provide a "movie" of the patient's small intestine.

Our GI health providers at GI Alliance of Arkansas will commonly carry out a small bowel capsule endoscopy to discover the cause of unexplained bleeding or anemia. It can be carried out to assess the small intestine to further evaluate an abnormal x-ray, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. Contact our gastroenterology physicians in Arkansas to schedule a capsule endoscopy to ensure the health of your intestinal system is preserved.

Your GI physician will provide you with details and instructions in regard to the preparations you need to make for your upcoming capsule endoscopy. The majority of patients will be permitted to eat normally the day prior to the procedure. Patients will likely receive instruction to refrain from taking anything via the mouth after 7 p.m. the night before their capsule endoscopy. It is vital to adhere to the guidelines provided to you by your physician. There will also be supplemental directions regarding your medications. In the majority of instances, your medications will be continued as normal a few hours after the pill capsule is ingested. However, in certain situations, including cases in which the patient is on blood thinners (i.e. aspirin, Coumadin®, Plavix®, warfarin, anti-inflammatories) and in those with diabetes, additional instruction will be provided.

Please arrive at the endoscopy location at least 30 prior to your small bowel capsule endoscopy. This extra time will give you the chance to fill out paperwork and make any preparations for the procedure. You will be directed to wear a vest, which holds the monitors that will receive the transmitted pictures. Once the vest is in place, the pill capsule will be activated and then given to you to ingest.

After the pill capsule is swallowed, you are free to leave the endoscopy center. You will keep the vest on for the next eight hours. You will be permitted to consume clear liquids once two hours have passed after the exam and can have a regular meal after four hours. After the eight hours are up, you will come back to the endoscopy unit, and the vest can be removed. To hear more about undergoing a capsule endoscopy in Arkansas, please request a consultation with one of our gastrointestinal physicians today.

When the procedure is done, the images captured by the capsule will be downloaded into a computer program that uses the data to produce a movie of your small intestine. It may take the doctor a number of hours to completely review these images. Exam results are generally available within a week. Your ordering doctor's office will call you with the capsule endoscopy findings.

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Broadly speaking, small bowel capsule endoscopy is extremely safe. Overall, complications occur in less than 1% of individuals. Generally, these complications are not life-threatening. At the same time, should a complication occur, it might require hospitalization and surgery. In advance of the capsule endoscopy exam, a consent form will be reviewed with the patient by the GI Alliance of Arkansas nursing staff.

One possible risk is that the pill capsule could get stuck in the intestinal tract, causing an obstruction. This would typically require surgery and a hospital stay.

It is vital to contact your physician's office with haste if any symptoms present following the capsule endoscopy, including worsening abdominal pain, bleeding, or fever.

As with any other medical therapy, a small bowel capsule endoscopy may not be a perfect exam. There is a slight, acknowledged risk that issues, including cancers, can be missed during the procedure. It is essential to maintain follow-ups with your doctor as directed and make them aware of any persistent or new symptoms.

Generally speaking, your alternative options for a small bowel capsule endoscopy will depend on your provider's reasons for ordering the procedure in the first place. In the majority of instances, esophagogastroduodenoscopy is the best method for evaluating concerns in the small bowel. However, an x-ray referred to as a small-bowel-follow-through can evaluate the small intestine, as well. An enteroscopy exam is another option for evaluating the upper portion of the small intestine and may also be utilized as part of treatment for GI disorders.

To get a better picture of your small bowel health without the need for an invasive procedure, reach out to request a consultation with a specialist at GI Alliance of Arkansas. Capsule endoscopy is just one of the methods in which our Arkansas GI doctors will do everything they can to make certain your health is kept secure throughout all stages of life.

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