Also known as capsule endoscopy, the PillCam is a test that involves swallowing a camera capsule (the size of a jelly bean) that takes multiple digital photos of the small bowel. It is a powerful medical device that takes clear photographs which are transmitted via sensors attached to the abdomen with adhesive stickers.
The PillCam is helpful for detecting diseases of the small bowel such as Crohn’s disease and obscure bleeding. Research has also shown its effectiveness in detecting small bowel tumors and that the majority (65 percent) of small bowel tumors discovered were malignant.
The PillCam takes approximately eight hours to travel through the small bowel and should pass naturally in your bowel movements without any discomfort. It should be flushed down the toilet.
Patients are asked to fast for 10 hours prior to arriving for their office visit. Expect to be at the office for approximately one hour for the leads and special belt to be attached and the PillCam to be swallowed with a sip of water. The information and images are then transmitted via an array of sensors to the DataRecorder affixed to a belt worn around the patient’s waist. Patients then return to the office at 4 pm to have the equipment removed.
No sedation is required however patients must follow a diet the day before the test and conduct some bowel preparation.