A revolutionary camera capsule that allows doctors to diagnose bowel problems more effectively is being made available to patients in Wales for the first time. [...] Capsule endoscopy lets doctors see clear images from inside the small bowel via a tiny camera contained in a tablet no bigger than a vitamin pill. [...]
Consultant Nimal Balaratman said the camera allowed them to explore bowel problems in new depth. "The whole area used to be a sort of black box for gastroentologists," he said. "Although we could investigate it using X-rays, we could never visualise it like one can see a video."
The patient swallows the £320 capsule, which has a colour camera and miniscule lights even though it measures only 11mm by 26mm. Pictures are then beamed twice a second to a small receiver worn by the patient via radio waves. About 40,000 images are taken in the six to eight hours the capsule takes to work its way through the digestive system. During this time, the patient is free to do whatever they like.
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