PillCam being used to see inside digestive tract - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

PillCam being used to see inside digestive tract

Posted: Updated:
  • HealthMore>>

  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
  • Spouse's sunny outlook may be good for your health

    Spouse's sunny outlook may be good for your health

    Marriage vows often include the promise to stick together for better or for worse, and research now suggests that when it comes to your health, having an optimistic spouse is better.More >>
    Marriage vows often include the promise to stick together for better or for worse, and research now suggests that when it comes to your health, having an optimistic spouse is better.More >>
  • Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...More >>
    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...More >>

Chances are a doctor has prescribed you a pill before to help alleviate a medical issue. Now, there is a different kind of "pill" being used at a local hospital.  It is a tiny pill camera that can help find what is ailing you.

Michael Richard of DeRidder has one word to describe how he feels now - knowing there is not a hidden health problem in his digestive tract.  "Relieved!" he said.

This 70-year-old has already had his share of medical battles, from diabetes to lung cancer. When he came to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital's Digestive Health Center, he was not sure what to expect.  "I was having dark stools and there was blood in them," he said, "so the doctor wanted to find out what was causing it."

Richard had already had a colonoscopy and a standard endoscopy, but gastroenterologist Dr. Frank Marrero says those tools are limited in seeing the entire gut.  "That leaves a very long piece of bowel in the middle that we can't really reach with our current technology," he said.

But a new technology called the "PillCam" can give physicians a real time look inside the small bowel that they could not see before.  "The patient can swallow the PillCam and it records over eight hours and we can actually see what's in the small bowel," said Dr. Marrero.

Images are taken from a receiver the patient wears around his or her waist for eight hours, then downloaded to the computer where they are scanned by a medical team for abnormalities.  "You can literally watch it float through the small bowel," said Dr. Marrero.

Dr. Marrero says small, surface lesions, even small tumors can be picked up through these images that might have been missed before.  "This has added a lot of capability to our ability to diagnose patients, especially with things that aren't so obvious through our previous, standard techniques," he said.

Richard says he believes this new PillCam technology could have potentially detected his deceased wife's cancer, had it been around ten years ago.  "My wife had colon cancer," said Richard, "if they had had this along before that, they might have been able to save her...and anyone else with that problem too."

That is the purpose Richard hopes it serves today: technology that could save lives.

The PillCam is especially useful in targeting lesions, small bowel cancers, Crohn's Disease and Celiac Disease.  Dr. Marrero says the future of the PillCam could be developing a camera that is steerable and could possibly even provide samples from inside the digestive tract.

Since its inception at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital approximately one year ago, 100 patients have used the PillCam.

There is no retrieval process for the PillCam after it exits the body.  All of the images are on the retrieval device that is on the patient's waist.

Copyright KPLC 2012. All Rights Reserved.

 

Powered by WorldNow