There are two other options, both of which can actually visualize the entire small bowel. One is a pillcam, in which you swallow a tiny camera and it sends video images of the small bowel as it passes through. This may present some risks of blockage, especially if you have a history of strictures or inflammation in the small bowel. There's a patency capsule that you can swallow first that simulates the camera but will dissolve if it gets stuck.
The second method is a newer approach, called a double balloon enteroscopy
. This is an upper endoscopy type method, but using a new tool which gathers up the small bowel in sections, and allows the DR to visualize the small bowel and to take biopsies if necessary. It looks like an awesome development, but I don't think its being done in many places and it frankly freaks me out to think about
what's going on during this procedure. Someone here on the forum had this done in the last year or so and was very pleased with the result.
49 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Colazal (9 pills/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day),
, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), mesalamine enema as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11.