02 Jan Endoscopy for Baby Boomers: A Much Easier Pill To Swallow Than Before
Anyone who’s ever had an endoscopy knows how positively difficult it is to ‘swallow’ the long, thin endoscope without gagging several times. This necessary procedure for Baby Boomers has become much easier thanks to the newest, tiny camera used in medicine – the PillCam. It has given many people one less reason not to want to do an endoscopy.
The PillCam ESO is in the size and shape of a pill and you simply swallow it just like a pill. It takes pictures of different areas of your esophagus without the sedation and several hours of recovery a traditional endoscopy requires. It is used to diagnose many esophageal diseases such as Barrett’s esophagus and stomach ulcers and cancer.
To prepare for the procedure, you will have to fast for only two hours before swallowing the pill. You should swallow the capsule while lying on your back and are, then, raised at a 30 degree angle every two minutes for a six minute period until you are sitting upright. As the pill goes down the esophageal tract, it takes around 2,600 color digital pictures. After 20 minutes the doctor should have enough images to make an evaluation. The capsule exits the body naturally and there is no need for medical intervention. However, the major concern about the procedure was that there was no way to control the pill while inside the esophagus, and doctors were only able to get quick glimpses with the photos.
The PillCam was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in late 2004 and has been greatly improved since. Recently, it has been improved with new magnetic technology. In a collaboration of engineers from the manufacturer and researchers from The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering, the first-ever control system for the camera pill has been developed. With this, doctors will be able to move and even stop the camera pill as it passes through the patient’s esophagus and stomach using a magnetic device moved across the patient’s body by the doctor. As a result, doctors are able to view any and every part of the esophagus and stomach they feel may be necessary and as many times as they wish.
This is even better news for those Baby Boomers who have had problems with their stomachs and have had to do annual endoscopies. There is no need to be hesitant or dread visiting the doctor any longer. The quick swallow of a pill is all there is to making sure there is nothing to worry about with that aspect of your health.
Aren’t you simply thrilled that such procedures are becoming easier and easier for you? Share your thoughts with us at BoomerYearbook.com.
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