The pillcam.
The pillcam. The Coffs Coast Advocate

Pillcam takes an inside look at bowel disease

YOU wouldn't think swallowing a camera would do your insides any good but the latest medical marvel to hit the Coffs Coast is not your average camera.

Pillcam is a video capsule, literally a tiny camera in a pill, that has revolutionised the diagnosis and treatment of bowel disease.

Slightly bigger than a regular capsule, patients swallow the Pillcam and, over eight hours, the tiny camera takes more than 50,000 images of the gastrointestinal tract without the need for patient sedation or hospitalisation.

Dr Ned Abraham, the first practitioner on the Coffs Coast to employ the technology, said Pillcam is a new weapon in the fight against diseases of the small bowel.

“The small bowel, which forms the biggest length of the gastrointestinal tract, is a largely unknown territory because it is not readily accessible,” Dr Abraham said.

“Pillcam allows us to diagnose diseases of the small bowel more efficiently and we even have the opportunity to learn about conditions of the small bowel we previously didn't know existed.”

Pillcam's images are downloaded to a computer when the patient returns to the surgery, and unlike other procedures, the patient can spend the day doing just about anything, except swimming.

The doctor then uses the images to diagnose and treat.

Dr Abraham expects to use Pillcam on an average of three patients a week, and the technology is beneficial to anyone suffering abdominal pain and inflammatory bowel disease.

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