Whole bowel health check
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The Royal Free Centre for Minimally Invasive Gastroenterology is now offering a Whole Bowel Health Check service using the PillCam video capsule. It provides a pain-free recording that can span the entire 7 metres of digestive tract – throat, stomach, small bowel and colon – while you continue your daily activities. It is painless and offers a different route to the investigation of digestive disorders.
Who is the whole bowel check for?
- If you do not have symptoms, but are concerned about gut diseases, such as polyps or cancer.
- For patients with symptoms who want fast access to painless investigations to guide their clinician’s next course of action.
By scouting the inner lining of the stomach and intestines, PillCam enables the clinician to differentiate disorders arising from the inner surface lining (like ulcers, polyps and diverticulosis) from those that may arise from deep within the lining (like irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia).
The PillCam procedure is painless
Unlike conventional endoscopy, PillCam images the whole GI tract – throat (oesophagus), stomach, small bowel and colon.
The disposable PillCam is swallowed with a glass of water and the video is captured using a wireless connection. Internal body functions will propel the PillCam through the gut making the procedure painless.
Once the PillCam is seen to have passed through the stomach, it is time to return home, where a “booster” is taken to ensure it has reached the end of its journey and expelled into the toilet before the battery’s energy supply is depleted. The battery maintains sufficient power for 14 hours and, in most patients, the time from swallow to flushing is between 6 and 11 hours.
There is no need to retrieve the disposable PillCam which is passed naturally after its journey. Once the PillCam is expelled, the receiver is returned to our unit, and the whole bowel video is downloaded where it is watched and readby expert practitioners. Results will be available to the patient within 72 hours of the test.