Camera Pill Helps Doctors Detect Diseases

WVU Uses Capsule Endoscopy to Visualize Intestine

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Uma Sundaram, M.D., chief of digestive diseases at West Virginia University, has started using capsule endoscopy, an innovative, non-invasive procedure, to diagnose and treat patients with gastrointestinal disorders of the small intestine such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, gastro-intestinal bleeding, inflammatory bowel disease, small bowel tumors and NSAID-related injuries.

With a miniature camera, the video capsule enables physicians to visualize for the first time the entire length of the 21-foot-long small intestine. The procedure is a non-invasive diagnostic alternative to traditional endoscopy, the most common procedure used to examine the small bowel.

“The video capsule allows us to more accurately detect and diagnose small bowel disorders in our patients,” Dr. Sundaram explained. “We are pleased to be offering a non-invasive diagnostic alternative for patients experiencing persistent abdominal problems.”

During the procedure, the capsule will take approximately 50,000 images of the small intestine, transmitting those images to a recorder worn by the patient on a small belt.

Approximately 70 million Americans suffer from gastrointestinal disorders, including those of the small bowel such as cancer, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, gastro-intestinal bleeding, inflammatory bowel disease and NSAID-related injury. However, many of these conditions are not diagnosed, or are treated by trial and error because of the limited diagnostic options previously available. Capsule endoscopy allows physicians to diagnose these disorders more precisely.

Sundaram received his medical degree from the Medical College of Ohio and completed specialty training at the University of Michigan Medical Center and Yale University School of Medicine. He specializes in the care of patients with gastrointestinal and liver problems, with a particular interest in inflammatory bowel diseases and hepatitis C.

- WVU -

For more information:
Bill Case, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087

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