Upstate News

March 2, 2005
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

University Hospital introduces pill-sized capsule endoscopy procedure to Central New York

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – University Hospital is the only hospital in central and northern New York to offer the FDA-approved PillCam ESO endoscopy. PillCam ESO is a safe, accurate and sedation-free alternative to traditional endoscopy used to detect esophageal abnormalities and cirrhosis of the liver. The procedure is available at University Hospital’s satellite facility, University Health Care Manlius, located at 102 West Seneca Street, Manlius.

The PillCam ESO procedure does not require intubation. The procedure uses a multivitamin-sized capsule, equipped with two miniature cameras, that is ingested by the patient. The cameras take a myriad of pictures of the inner lining of the esophagus, allowing for greater accuracy in diagnosing disorders such as gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett’s Esophagus, peptic diseases, tumors and cirrhosis of the liver.

According to University Hospital gastroenterologist Ronald Szyjkowski, M.D., the PillCam ESO offers the patient several benefits over traditional endoscopy, including immediate recovery.

“The PillCam ESO is simple, safe and a less invasive alternative to traditional endoscopy,” said Szyjkowski. He, along with SUNY Upstate gastroenterologists Philip Holzapple, M.D., and Bipin Saud, M.D., are the only physicians in central and northern New York to perform the procedure. “The procedure requires only 20 minutes of the patient’s time and can be performed in an office as opposed to a hospital endoscopy suite. After the procedure, the patient can go about his or her daily business,” Szyjkowski said.

A two-hour fast is required prior to the procedure. At the office, three sensor arrays are placed on the patient’s chest and connected to a data recorder that is worn on a belt around the patient’s waist. The patient swallows the capsule lying down and is then raised in a series of inclinations over a total of five minutes.

The PillCam ESO travels through the entire length of the esophagus, taking 14 color images per second and transmitting a total of 2,600 images of the esophagus to the data recorder. The patient excretes the pill naturally, usually within 24 hours.

Once the equipment is removed from the patient, the portable data recorder downloads the video images to a workstation where it takes the physician less than a half hour to view and assess the results in order to recommend the next steps in the patient’s treatment.

The PillCam ESO is the second system of its type used by University Hospital to detect hard-to-diagnose abnormalities of the digestive track. In 2003, the hospital began offering patients the PillCam SB, formerly called the M2A capsule endoscopy procedure, to detect abnormalities of the small bowel intestines.

Given Imaging developed the PillCam ESO and the PillCam SB procedures. Both procedures use diagnostic systems, also developed by Given.

According to Szyjkowski, most insurance companies cover the PillCam ESO procedure. Patients must be physician-referred.

For more information about the PillCam ESO or the PillCam SB, call University Health Care Manlius at 315-682-6600.

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