Summer time is here and all people of all ages should take the opportunity this to celebrate active living! Achieving physical fitness takes more than just working out; it is important to make sure your body is healthy both inside and out, so use this month to become active about your important screenings as well.
You might be wondering who should be getting a small bowel screening. Capsule endoscopy helps your doctor evaluate the small intestine. This part of the bowel cannot be reached by traditional upper endoscopy or by colonoscopy. The most common reason for doing capsule endoscopy is to search for a cause of bleeding from the small intestine. It may also be useful for detecting polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease), ulcers, and tumors of the small intestine. Dr. Berookim is an expert in administering this type of endoscopy.
What the doctor can do with a Capsule Endoscopy is examine the lining of the middle part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the three portions of the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum). Dr. Berookim will use a pill sized video capsule, which has its own lens and light source and will view the images on a video monitor. You might hear the doctor or his staff refer to capsule endoscopy as small bowel endoscopy, capsule enteroscopy, or wireless endoscopy when you are in the office.
Before you get to the office, however, there are a few preparatory steps you must take. An empty stomach allows for the best and safest examination, so you should have nothing to eat or drink, including water, for approximately twelve hours before the examination. Dr. Berookim will tell you when to start fasting. Also be sure to tell the doctor in advance about any medications you take, including: iron, aspirin, bismuth subsalicylate products, and other “over-the-counter” medications. You might need to adjust your usual dose prior to the examination. And remember to tell Dr. Berookim about any allergies to medications as well as medical conditions, such as swallowing disorders and heart or lung disease. Lastly, you will want to tell the doctor about the presence of a pacemaker, previous abdominal surgery, or previous history of obstructions in the bowel, inflammatory bowel disease, or adhesions.
Once you are prepared for the procedure, Dr. Berookim will apply a sensor device to your abdomen with adhesive sleeves (similar to tape). The capsule endoscope is swallowed and passes naturally through your digestive tract while transmitting video images to a data recorder worn on your belt for approximately eight hours. At the end of the procedure you will return to the office and the data recorder is removed so that images of your small bowel can be put on a computer screen for physician review.
Now you’re done! Wasn’t that easy? You will be able to drink clear liquids after two hours and eat a light meal after four hours following the capsule ingestion, unless Dr. Berookim instructs you otherwise. You will have to avoid vigorous physical activity such as running or jumping during the study. The doctor should be able to tell you the test results within the week following the procedure; however, the results of some tests might take longer.
Before you commit to getting your endoscopy, you may be afraid that the procedure has risks. Although complications can occur, they are rare when doctors who are specially trained and experienced in this procedure, such as members of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, perform the test. Dr. Berookim is a member of this society. Potential risks include complications from obstruction. This usually relates to a stricture (narrowing) of the intestine from inflammation, prior surgery, or tumor. It’s important to recognize early signs of possible complications. If you have evidence of obstruction, such as unusual bloating, pain, and/or vomiting, call the doctor immediately. Also, if you develop a fever after the test, have trouble swallowing or experience increasing chest pain, tell Dr. Berookim’s office immediately. Be careful not to prematurely disconnect the system as this may result in loss of image acquisition. As is the case with most new diagnostic procedures, not all insurance companies are currently reimbursing for this procedure. You may need to check with your own insurance company to ensure that this is a covered benefit.
More info –
Gastroenterology Institute of Southern California reminds you to take advantage of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month and get your small bowel checked this month. This wireless, simple procedure can potentially save your life. Please contact Dr. Berookim to set up a small bowel capsule endoscopy.
Location: 9735 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 421, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Contact: Dr. Peyton P. Berookim (310) 271-1122
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