The title of this post might be stretching the truth since endoscopes have been around for quite a long while now, but the PillCam ESO 2 is different from the rest as it was specially designed to view the inner lining of the esophagus. Recently the FDA has stamped their mark of approval for the PillCam ESO 2, and this capsule endoscope from Given Imaging Limited of Israel will be marketed via InScope, a division of a Johnson & Johnson company. Getting the PillCam ESO 2 to work is dead easy – just swallow it and let the miniature cameras lined up on both ends to start snapping away.
A trio of sensor arrays are placed on the patient’s chest at strategic places, which are subsequently hooked up to a data recorder that is worn on a belt around the waist. When the capsule is swallowed, the patient must lie down, where he/she will then be raised in a series of inclinations within a period of 5 minutes. This will the PillCam ESO 2 to travel through the entire esophagus by riding those peristaltic waves, flashing up to 14 times in a single second where each flash provides just enough light to capture the inner lining of the esophagus.
Throughout the journey to the pits of the earth stomach, captured images are used to identify potential abnormalities such as Esophagitis – the inflammation of the lining of the esophagus. It also makes it much easier for doctors to measure the severity of symptoms and even catching esophageal ulcers in more extreme cases. Throughout the 5 minute procedure, captured images will be transmitted to the sensor arrays, where they then head onto the DataRecorder. At this point in time, the patient is given the freedom to walk around or remain seated for a good 15 minutes to be sure that it has traveled the length and breadth of the esophagus. Once it has done its job, the PillCam ESO 2 will be excreted naturally.