3 Dec 2009

'Camera in pill' proving invaluable to specialists

9:11 am on 3 December 2009

A camera inside a capsule is giving medical specialists a chance to see inside a part of the body they've struggled to reach with instruments before.

Specialists say capsule endoscopy, using a camera in a pill, is enabling them to diagnose diseases that they haven't been able to detect in the past.

The disposable pill-camera takes photographs as it flows through a person's gut and is being used to discover why some patients have bleeding in their gut that doesn't appear to be from the colon or stomach.

Doctors say the cameras, which cost $1500, are proving invaluable in the diagnosis of conditions such as Crohn's Disease.

Wellington gastroenterologist Ian Wilson, who has been using capsule endoscopies for five years, says it has enabled specialists to find things that they "didn't even know existed".