Pill camera is a video camera used for the capsule endoscopy, a procedure of a patient examination by means of endoscopic videocapsule, id est a video camera built-in in a capsule combined with a videotransmitter. In the process of gastrointestinal tract examination, the capsule takes a few ten of thousands of pictures during a few hours. The pictures are then transmitted to the receivers fixed on the patient body and registered in the built-in memory. The power can be provided either by built-in battery or by a wireless method from an external power supply.
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The advantages of the method over the traditional endoscopy:
- Possibility to examine the small bowel along the whole length.
- Absence of pain and discomfort.
- Absence of harmful effects on the patient body.
- The capsule is disposable that eliminates possibility infecting the patient.
Main advantage of the traditional endoscopy over the capsule endoscopy is that it allows taking tissue for histological researches (biopsy), that often is necessity and is often done during traditional endoscopy.
In addition, the retention of the pill camera in the gastrointestinal tract of the patient is possible, which occurs, according to different estimations, in 0,5-21% of the cases. Occurrence of the capsule retention depends mainly on clinical indications to the capsule endoscopy. For healthy people the retention probability is 0%, for patients with hidden gastrointestinal bleeding it is to 1,5 %, for patients with possible Crohn syndrome it can reach up to 5% and for patients with bowel obstruction to 21%. In such a case the capsule is extracted by means of endoscope, or by means of cavernous surgical operation. The longest recorded retention was 4 years 5 months and 21 days.
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