Dr Schneider is a highly qualified Gastroenterologist who specialises in Endoscopy, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and other stomach problems at Milpark Hospital, Parktown, Johannesburg.
GIDOCJHB provides a comprehensive range of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy procedures. These include gastroscopy, colonoscopy, ERCP, cystoscopy and bronchoscopy.
Dr Schneider has a special interest in capsule endoscopy and in the management of patients with stomach tumours.
We are dedicated to providing the best, personalised healthcare along with informed health advice and treatment.
What is a Video Capsule Endoscopy?
A capsule endoscopy (also referred to as a video capsule endoscopy) looks at the inside of your oesophagus, stomach, and small intestine.
Your gastroenterologist will give you a pill-sized capsule for you to swallow, which has wireless video camera functionality.
As the capsule travels through your digestive tract, the camera takes thousands of pictures that are transmitted to a recorder you wear on a belt around your waist.
These pictures are sent to a small recording device you have to wear on your body.
Your gastroenterologist will be able to view these pictures at a later time and will be able to provide you with useful information regarding your small intestine.
Why is Capsule Endoscopy Done?
Capsule endoscopy is used to examine the small intestine that cannot be seen with other types of endoscopy or colonoscopy.
The most common reason for doing capsule endoscopy is to search for a bleeding cause from the small intestine.
It may also be useful for detecting polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers, and tumours of the small intestine.
Your doctor might recommend a capsule endoscopy procedure to:
- Diagnose unexplained abdominal pain
- Find the cause of GI bleeding
- Screen for tumours, polyps, or ulcers
- Examine your oesophagus
- Diagnose Celiac Disease
- Diagnosing Crohn’s disease
- Do follow-up testing after X-rays or other imaging tests
- Diagnose certain cancers
Unlike endoscopy or colonoscopy, which can be used to remove polyps (polypectomy), capsule endoscopy can only be used for visual diagnoses, not treatment.
What to Expect Before the Procedure?
You will receive preparation instructions before the examination from your gastroenterologist.
To keep the medication from interfering with the camera, your doctor might ask you not to take certain medications before the procedure.
Discuss any allergies to medications as well as medical conditions, such as swallowing disorders and heart or lung disease.
Tell your doctor of any previous abdominal surgery, or previous history of bowel obstructions in the bowel, inflammatory bowel disease, or adhesions.
The capsule endoscopy test is always scheduled for early in the morning.
To help the camera capture clear images of your digestive tract, you’ll be asked to fast for at least 12 hours before the procedure.
In some cases, your doctor may ask you to take a laxative before your capsule endoscopy to flush out your small intestine.
This has been shown to improve the quality of the pictures collected by the capsule’s camera.
Capsule endoscopy is more always performed at a gastroenterologists office, a gastroenterology procedure unit of a hospital, or an accredited endoscopy centre available in some cities.
What to Wear
To reduce sweat and make the test easier, we recommend wearing a light cotton T-shirt.
Your outfit should be one you won’t need to change out of for at least eight hours, as the equipment must remain in place until the test is over.
What to Expect During the Procedure?
Capsule endoscopy is a relatively straightforward procedure and most patients consider the test comfortable.
A sensor belt will be strapped around your waist over your shirt. Eight adhesive sensors will need to be placed on parts of your abdomen to clearly help identify the images.
Once all the equipment is in place and checked out, you will swallow the camera capsule with water. A slippery coating makes it easier to swallow.
You are then free to leave, drive, and even return to work if appropriate.
You must avoid physical activity and follow specific dietary guidelines throughout the day.
What to Expect After the Procedure?
Wait two hours after you swallow the capsule to resume drinking any liquids. After four to five hours, you can have a light lunch or a snack recommended by your gastroenterologist.
The capsule endoscopy procedure is complete after eight hours or when you see the camera capsule in the toilet after a bowel movement, whichever comes first.
Remove the patches and the recorder from your body, place them in a bag and follow your gastroenterologist’s instructions for returning the equipment. You can flush the capsule down the toilet.
It may take some people hours or days to evacuate the capsule, but most people pass it in 24 to 72 hours.
If you are unable to spot the pill-cam in your stools after two weeks, call your doctor. An X-ray may be needed to see if the device is stuck somewhere in your digestive tract.
Getting Your Results
It may take a few days or up to 2 weeks for the medical team to look at all the pictures. They send the results to the gastroenterologist who arranged the test.
If you have not heard about the result within a couple of weeks after your test, contact your gastroenterologist.
Interpreting the Results
The final report will contain a list of normal and abnormal findings.
It will also include details about bowel preparation, the quality of bowel preparation, the extent and completeness of the exam, relevant findings and other important information.