Endoscope Pill Eliminates Painful Procedure

January 18, 2001

LONDON-Researchers from the Royal London Hospital have reported success when treating patients with a capsulated endoscope.

LONDON-Researchers from the Royal London Hospital have reported success when treating patients with a capsulated endoscope.

The tablet is equipped with lights and a video camera and is passed through a patient's digestive tract. The inch-long device was developed by Given Imaging of Yoqneam, Israel. Two of the researchers are linked to the company.

The patient swallows the pill, which then transmits signals to an antenna belt worn around the patient's waist. After eight hours, the belt is removed and data is turned into video. The pill is discarded in the toilet when the patient eliminates waste.

The biggest drawback of this new technology is that doctors cannot stop bleeding, take tissue samples, remove growths, or repair problems with the capsule as they can with a traditional endoscope.

The developers would not disclose the estimated cost of the capsules, but said they would be comparable to similar procedures.

Information from Reuters