My Guide to Endoscopies for Crohn’s, Part 3

My Guide to Endoscopies for Crohn’s, Part 3
Third in a series. Read part one and two. In previous columns, I looked at upper endoscopies and colonoscopies and why these procedures are carried out. In this column, I will discuss the third type of endoscopy: the small intestine capsule endoscopy. What is a capsule endoscopy?  A capsule endoscopy — also known as a pill camera endoscopy — allows your doctor to get a good view of your small intestine. Upper endoscopies are carried out to view the upper gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the beginning of the small intestine. A colonoscopy looks at the rectum, sigmoid, and colon. It can be challenging to get a clear view of the small intestine. For this test, you swallow a pill with a tiny wireless camera inside it. As the pill moves along your digestive tract, the camera captures images that are transmitted to a device you wear. Your doctor can then download the images to a computer and compose a virtual endoscopy video. Preparing for the capsule endoscopy The prep for the pill camera endoscopy is more straightforward than that of the colonoscopy and similar to the upper endoscopy. Typically, around noon the day before the procedure, you are asked to switch to a clear liquid diet, which includes water, juice, clear sodas, broths, and jello. After midnight, you’re restricted to water only. You must stop all fluids a specified number of hours before you swallow the pill camera. You may be asked to take a mild laxative the night before — but don’t worry, it’s not a bowel clear-out! Starting the endoscopy At your doctor's office, a pill camera, sensor belt, and data recorder will be ready for you. Swallowing the pill camera is easy as it's similar in size to a vitamin tablet. Having taken the pill, you are fitted with a sensor belt that
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