HEALTHWATCH: Pill Cam: Medical technology

Updated: Thursday, March 27 2014, 08:26 AM CDT
HEALTHWATCH: Pill Cam: Medical technology story image

Medical technology is exploding, to the point that the device we're about to show you, would have been considered science fiction not terribly long ago.
Channel Three's Kathryn Daniel has tonight's Health Watch report.

Gastroenterologist Fares Hakim says for decades -- specialists, using instruments, could see the very top and very bottom of the small bowel.
Which is the body's major source of absorption.

Hakim says the 22 feet of small bowel, or small intestines,  was a mysterious and vastly underexplored organ.W0 24 ]] C2.5 G 0 [[
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"But about 15-20 feet we didn't have access to in the past until this came out."

"This" is video capsule endoscopy...One brand is called the "Pill Cam."
It contains a tiny camera that once swallowed, it takes two frames per second for eight hours.

The patient wears a band around their abdomen -- which holds a transmitter.
At the end of the day, Hakim downloads the 50-thousand images and searches sources of unexplained bleeding, ulcers, polyps and more.

"Found some tumors and the patient was asymptomatic.  If they were not found, then most likely they'll mestestasize."
The technology has helped patients with crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

Once bleeding areas are found...They can be repaired surgically or with a special procedure.
Hakim says research is in the work to expand the concept,  that in the future, tiny devices and tools will be able to come out of the pill  and take samples as the device passes through the bowels.

Hakim says right now, steering mechanisms for such capsules are in development -- so the study can be done with the patient in the office.W1 24 ]] C2.5 G 0 [[
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"Little joysticks like you're playing Playstation and just moving that pill back and forth if you need to concentrate on a specific area if you see bleeding." For more stories click here to go to our health page

HEALTHWATCH: Pill Cam: Medical technology
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