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Pill Cam Endoscopy Services in Concord, NC

What is a Pill Cam?

Capsule endoscopy allows our digestive doctors to examine part of your digestive tract without the need for sedation or a lengthy, more invasive procedure. You’ll simply swallow a vitamin-sized capsule, sometimes known as a “pill cam,” and wear a special belt fitted with a recorder to create images of your small intestine.

When is a Pill Cam Needed?

Capsule endoscopy in NC can help doctors diagnose recurrent or persistent digestive problems when other diagnostic tests have failed to determine the cause of symptoms, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, anemia, or bleeding. This procedure can also help doctors evaluate the extent to which the small intestine is affected, monitor the effects of treatment, or measure how long it takes for food to pass through the small intestine.

What to Expect From a Pill Cam Endoscopy

First, your health provider will fit you with a sensor belt that you will wear over your clothing. Next, you will swallow the capsule with a glass of water. You can then resume most of your daily activities.

Your healthcare provider will schedule an appointment for you to return to your doctor’s office with the sensor belt and recorder. Your digestive doctor can then download the information and review the images.

You will pass the capsule naturally with a bowel movement, usually within a 24- to 72-hour period.

How to Prepare for Pill Cam Endoscopy Services in Concord

Your digestive doctor in NC will provide you with written instructions before the examination. Specific instructions may vary according to your individual needs, but in general, preparation focuses on maintaining

To create the best images possible, your stomach and small intestine will need to be empty before beginning capsule endoscopy. To ensure that your stomach and small intestine are empty, you will need to begin a liquid diet the day before the examination and have nothing to eat or drink 10 hours before capsule endoscopy.

You will receive written preparation instructions before the examination. In general, an empty stomach creates the best images, so you will need to begin a liquid diet the day before your capsule endoscopy appointment. You should have nothing to eat or drink for approximately 10 hours before your procedure.

On the day of the procedure, male patients need to shave their abdomen six inches above and below their navel. Women may need to shave their upper pelvis area. The gastroenterology team performing the test will advise patients on the specifics of shaving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to fast before capsule endoscopy?

Yes, your stomach will need to be empty to allow your doctor to visualize your digestive tract during capsule endoscopy.

Will I need to shave before the capsule endoscopy?

Yes, the belt that records the video images has small sensors, which attach to your skin. Males must shave their stomach and chest area; all patients must shave their upper pelvis area.

Do I need to fast while I’m wearing the recorder?

No – about two hours after swallowing the capsule, you can have clear liquids. You may have a light snack four hours after the procedure unless your doctor says otherwise. You are normally allowed to return to a regular diet after 8 hours.

When can I eat after a capsule endoscopy?

You are normally allowed to return to a regular diet after 8 hours, which is how long the capsule endoscopy usually lasts.

What happens to the capsule after capsule endoscopy?

The capsule passes through your digestive tract and eventually exits your body during a bowel movement. If you cannot verify that you have passed the capsule in a bowel movement, your doctor may order an abdominal X-ray to be sure that it has left your body. Do not have an MRI until you have verified the passage of the capsule. The capsule is disposable and should not be returned to the doctor’s office.

How long does it take to pass a capsule endoscopy?

The capsule used in capsule endoscopy is typically excreted naturally within a few days after ingestion, although the exact time can vary among individuals. It may take up to 1 to 3 days for the capsule to pass through the digestive tract and be eliminated in the stool.

Is capsule endoscopy painful?

Capsule endoscopy is generally not painful, as the capsule is swallowed and passes through the digestive tract without the need for sedation or insertion of a scope. Some individuals may experience mild discomfort or nausea during swallowing of the capsule.

How safe is capsule endoscopy?

Capsule endoscopy is considered safe for most patients, with minimal risks or complications. However, there is a small risk of capsule retention, especially in patients with underlying gastrointestinal strictures or obstructions. Additionally, individuals with certain medical conditions or swallowing disorders may not be suitable candidates for capsule endoscopy.

Does insurance cover capsule endoscopy?

Insurance coverage for capsule endoscopy may vary depending on individual insurance plans and medical necessity. In many cases, capsule endoscopy is covered by insurance for the diagnosis and management of certain gastrointestinal conditions, although prior authorization may be required.

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Northeast Digestive Health Center
1070 Vinehaven Drive NE
Concord, North Carolina 28025
Phone: (704)783-1840
Fax: (704)783-1850
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