Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Capsule Endoscopy Offered by US Hospitals

A gastroenterologist and endoscopist at Davis Memorial Hospital in Elkins, W.Va., is now offering capsule endoscopy for the detection and diagnosis of small intestinal disorders, including small bowel tumors and Crohn's Disease, according to a WBOY news report.

Nitesh Ratnakar, MD, said capsule endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require sedation or any recovery time. The pill, which is approximately the size of a large vitamin, passes through the body between 24-48 hours. The images from the pill are captured and delivered wirelessly to a data recorder patients wear outside their clothing, according to the news report.

A less invasive procedure that means no sedative or recovery time is now available at Davis Memorial Hospital.

With this technology, patients swallow a pill about the size of a large vitamin and they continue their day in a normal manner.

Dr. Nitesh Ratnakar is a gastroenterologist and endoscopist at Davis Memorial Hospital in Elkins. His office recently began using the Pillcam for detection of small intestinal disorders.

"Its non invasive, out patient, and it gives us a lot of information about the diseases of the small bowel," said Ratnakar.

The mini camera capsule contains state of the art technology. Before this technology, doctors had to conduct an X-Ray test. Now patients swallow the camera, and for the next eight hours up to 50,000 pictures are taken of the patients small intestines.

The photos are wirelessly transmitted to a data recorder attached to a belt patients wear on the outside of their clothing.

The technology is used to help diagnose small bowel disorders or conditions such as Crohn's Disease, causes of anemia, and small bowel tumors. Ratnakar calls this procedure helpful because images of the small bowel are difficult to capture.

"This is a leap from that point where we are directly able to visualize the inside lining of the bowel and its quite exciting technology, It's a stepping stone to future robotic medicine," said Ratnakar.

About a dozen procedures have been done so far, and patients are pleased with it.

"Patients love it. They like the convenience, they come to my office in the morning and swallow the capsule and we give them instructions. They go about their daily manner they come back in the evening return our receiver, and we call them a few days later with results, so it's been well accepted," said Ratnakar.


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