Endoscopic techniques have revolutionized how medicine is practised around the world. This method has made the treatment of internal organs easier than ever. The small intestine has historically been one of the most difficult organs to treat over the years, this is something that has been vastly simplified thanks to capsule endoscopy treatment. Treating the small intestine was almost impossible without the help of surgery.
While radiological practices like swallowing barium followed by x-ray films have been a part of treatment for a long time. These procedures, however, are time-consuming and are not very accurate in identifying subtle abnormalities.
Modern day techniques of identifying ailments of the small intestine are crucial in identifying causes for issues like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and anemia among many others. It is also important for identifying dangerous diseases like Crohn’s disease. This is where capsule endoscopy has played a revolutionary role.
Its ease of administration and diagnostic capabilities Regency Medical Centre is going to start the capsule endoscopy treatment in Tanzania soon and also make it a crucial part of the diagnostic process.
This process may also be called capsule enteroscopy or wireless capsule endoscopy.
What is Capsule Endoscopy?
As the name suggests, this process utilizes a small capsule. This capsule is essentially a video camera that can be swallowed. It is slightly larger than a pill and has two cameras, a radio transmitter, and a light source.
As the camera passes through the gastrointestinal tract it takes pictures at regular intervals. These pictures are then wirelessly sent to a device that you are supposed to wear on your body. The doctor then looks at these images which are downloaded on to a computer to identify the issue you are facing. The pill is passed with stool and does not need to be retrieved.
This form of endoscopy is even less invasive than regular endoscopy methods. It allows you complete freedom of movement while the procedure goes on. This method not only helps identify the problems with the small intestine it is also used to identify polyps of the colon for those who could not do a colonoscopy.
Why is Capsule Endoscopy Performed?
This procedure is performed to identify a variety of ailments, which include:
Causes for gastrointestinal bleeding: People experiencing unexplained bleeding in their digestive tract can be prescribed capsule endoscopy to identify the cause of the issue. Regency medical centre also prescribed capsule endoscopy treatment in tanzania if we find someone with these symptoms.
Identify inflammatory bowel diseases: This procedure can also be used to reveal and identify areas of inflammation in the small intestine.
Cancer diagnosis: This method can also help reveal tumors in the digestive tract or the small intestine. The process being so easy to manage has made it highly effective in identifying cancerous tumors.
Identifying celiac disease: The procedure known as capsule endoscopy can sometimes be used to diagnose and monitor the reactions to eating gluten.
Polyps screening: This method, because of its minimally invasive nature and high efficacy, can be used to identify polyps for people who have inherent syndromes that can cause polyps.
More intensive screening: In case x-rays or other imaging tests are inconclusive or unclear and the doctors need a clearer image, a capsule endoscopy may be advised.
Limitations of Capsule Endoscopy
Because of the relative newness of this procedure, there are certain limitations that capsule endoscopy can pose:
At times the transit of the capsule is so fast that the images can appear blurry and uninterpretable. The images can sometimes be blurred by retained stool or even food debris if the bowel is not cleared efficiently.
Sometimes the transit of the capsule is so slow that in the eight hours of battery life it has only a part of the small intestine is checked before the battery fails.
If abnormalities are detected it may be difficult, at times, to identify where the surgery needs to be performed.
There may be narrow areas in the gastrointestinal tract due to strictures or tumors. This can cause the capsule to get lodged in these narrow passages requiring surgery to resolve the issue.
To avoid this issue, those that are suspected to have a stricture are first asked to swallow a dissolvable capsule of the same size to identify any blockage that may arise.
The capsule can take literally thousands upon thousands of images which can make the process of sifting through all of them incredibly time-consuming for the physician.
How to Prepare for Capsule Endoscopy treatment in Tanzania
It is best to have an empty stomach for this procedure. Make sure that you have nothing to eat or drink 12 hours prior to the examination, this includes water. Your physician will inform you about the time when you need to start fasting.
It is important that you inform your doctor about any and every medication that you are on, be they over the counter or prescription. This will help the doctor prepare for all eventualities and he or she will advise you to adjust your dosage when required.
When you are preparing for your surgery it would be a wise idea to mention any reactions or allergies you have to any particular medication. If you have any swallowing disorders or lung/heart ailments make sure that you inform your doctor about the same.
During the procedure, a sensor device is attached to the patient’s abdomen with adhesive sleeves. The capsule is swallowed and is allowed to pass naturally through the digestive tract to help take as many images as it can.
The data recorder for the pill is attached to your belt for the duration of the 8 hours it takes for the pill to take pictures. At the end of the procedure, you return to the doctor’s office and the images are downloaded on the computer for the doctor to peruse.
During the time you have the capsule inside you, it is advisable not to indulge in vigorous physical activity. You should not be near an MRI machine as long as you have pill inside you. Also, once the pill is ingested you are allowed to drink clear liquids within 2 hours and to have a light meal within 4 hours.
Regency Medical Centre is not yet providing capsule endoscopy treatment in Tanzania but it provides other endoscopy treatment. It is a point of pride for us at RMC to ensure that you, our patients, get the best possible care. So in case you need any medical treatment or care, give us a call, we are always at your disposal.