Gastroenterology Associates of Central Georgia LLC

Gastroenterologists located in Macon, Gray, Warner Robins, and Milledgeville, GA

The pill cam is a revolutionary diagnostic tool that can allow your physician to get unprecedented access to and images of your digestive system. If you’re interested in how the pill cam can shed light on any issues you’re having with your digestive system, schedule a visit with the medical professionals at Gastroenterology Associates of Central Georgia in Macon, Georgia. You can book your visit by calling the office.

Pill Cam Q & A

What is the pill cam?

The pill cam, also called a capsule endoscopy, is a tiny camera that’s roughly the size of a large vitamin pill. You swallow the pill cam, which travels through your body and relays internal images of your digestive system to a data recorder that you wear on your waist. 

When would I need the pill cam?

Pill cams give your gastroenterologist an intimate view of three portions of your small intestine, which can help them diagnose persistent conditions for which they’ve otherwise been unable to identify the cause.

Unlike other diagnostic procedures, a pill cam can give your physician added insight into the involvement of your small intestine in your digestive process. It can also gather motility data, like the passage time of your bowels.

All of this information can help your doctor pinpoint the cause of recurrent and unexplained symptoms like anemia, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.

What happens when I use the pill cam?

Having a capsule endoscopy with a pill cam is a relatively simple and straightforward procedure. 

In order to create optimal viewing conditions, your stomach needs to be empty as the pill cam passes through, so you’re asked to stop eating and drinking for 10 hours before you swallow the camera. Men also need to shave their chest, stomach area, and upper pelvic area to attach the data recorder.

When you get to the offices at Gastroenterology Associates of Central Georgia, your physician puts the sensors on your abdomen and connects your data recorder and gives you your pill cam. You swallow the camera with a cup of water, just like you’re taking a vitamin.

The pill cam takes about eight hours to travel through your system, during which time you can go about your daily activities, though you’ll be restricted from doing anything strenuous, like lifting heavy things or bending over.

You can begin to have clear liquids again two hours after you swallow the camera, and a light snack approximately two hours after that. At the end of the eight-hour period, you come back to the offices to have your data recorder removed, at which point you can return to your normal diet. Your doctor reviews the images and compiles the results, which typically takes about two to three weeks.

Complications are rare with a capsule endoscopy, and most patients report that the test is rather comfortable and low-impact. The capsule eventually passes through the rest of your body in a normal bowel movement. Do not get an MRI unless you’re sure that you’ve evacuated the capsule.

To get started with your capsule endoscopy, schedule a visit with Gastroenterology Associates of Central Georgia today by calling the office.