New 'PillCam' Offers Alternative to Colonoscopy
When it comes to colorectal cancer, early detection is essential. Cancer screening is an important part of overall health care—and colonoscopy is a safe, effective way to screen for colon cancer. However, for patients who cannot tolerate the procedure and those at high risk—from the necessary sedation, for example—PillCam™ Colon 2 may provide a new option.
In this new system, the patient simply swallows a capsule that contains two tiny cameras on either end. The capsule then travels through the digestive tract, capturing images and wirelessly transmitting them to a recorder worn around the patient’s waist. Afterward, the capsule—which is non-reusable—is excreted and flushed and the patient brings returns the recorder to his or her physician.
PillCam™ Colon 2 requires the same bowel preparation as colonoscopy, but it is painless and is performed without anesthesia. It is approved by the FDA for patients who are not good candidates for colonoscopy due to the anatomy of their colon, advanced age, or a higher-than-normal complication risk.
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