State-of-the-art camera pill at Welwyn Garden City hospital

PUBLISHED: 17:01 17 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:20 26 October 2009

Dr Kote Samsheer holding the camera pill

Dr Kote Samsheer holding the camera pill

REVOLUTIONARY new camera pills that can take images of the entire digestive system are now being used at the QE2 Hospital. The East and North Herts NHS Trust, which runs the WGC hospital, has introduced the procedure, called wireless capsule

Sister Faye Beard with the first Herts patient Michael Gampell

REVOLUTIONARY new camera pills that can take images of the entire digestive system are now being used at the QE2 Hospital.

The East and North Herts NHS Trust, which runs the WGC hospital, has introduced the procedure, called wireless capsule endoscopy.

Previously, patients experiencing unexplained bleeding in the intestine have had to undergo conventional endoscopy examinations, which involve manually inserting a narrow viewing tube down into the stomach.

These could only examine the first 10cm or so of the small intestine.

Images are transferred to a laptop from a data recorder

But now patients simply swallow one of the new hi-tech pills and allow it to pass through their system, meaning the entire five to seven metres of the small intestine can be photographed.

Dr Kote Samsheer, consultant gastroenterologist and specialist in the procedure, said: "Investigating the small bowel has always been a challenge as the conventional endoscopes only examine the stomach and a very small part of the small intestine. Capsule endoscopy can image the entire small bowel and involves no sedation.

"Before now patients would also have been stuck on a long waiting list at a London hospital for this procedure but now that's not necessary.

"It also does away with unnecessary x-ray tests which are less reliable, more expensive, time consuming and expose patients to radiation.

"All in all this is great news for people in Hertfordshire."

Patients are first fitted with a special data recorder on a belt, which will receive the images from the capsule.

The capsule they swallow consists of a camera, a light source and a wireless circuit to acquire and transmit signals.

It moves through the gastrointestinal tract, transmitting around 54,000 images to the data recorder in an eight-hour period.

The trust is one of just 10 across the country using the new technology.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times