Mendota Community Hospital ● 1315 Memorial Drive ● Mendota, IL  61342 ● 815-539-7461


Mendota Community Hospital provides Capsule Endoscopy or PillCam technology to its surgical services. Pill Cam technology lets Dr. Michael Vercimak, a board certified surgeon at MCH, examine two specific areas of your body: (1) the inner lining of the Esophagus and (2) the lining of the middle part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the three portions of the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum). This part of the bowel cannot be reached by traditional upper endoscopy or by colonoscopy.

Mendota Community Hospital is one of the first hospitals in the area to use capsule endoscopy. Dr. Vercimak, a board certified surgeon, who has been on the active medical staff at Mendota Community Hospital for over 23 years, has had special training and hands on experience in capsule technology. Dr. Vercimak will be the physician to perform the capsule endoscopy upon referral from a patient’s family doctor.

Both capsules, or Pillcams are equipped with miniature cameras on both ends and their own light source. They are about the size of a multi-vitamin, which makes them swallowed easily. Three sensor arrays are strategically placed on the patient’s chest and connected to a data recorder, worn on a belt around the waist.

The patient swallows the capsule and it passes naturally through their digestive tract while transmitting video images to the data recorder around their waist. At the end of the procedure the data recorder is removed so that the images can be put on a computer screen for physician review. The pill is later excreted.

As the PillCam travels down the esophagus images are captured, which may identify potential abnormalities, such as Esophagitis – which is inflammation of the lining of the esophagus often caused by Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD. Severity of symptoms is measured by a grading system, and in severe cases, esophageal ulcers can appear. Images captured by the PillCam may also identify symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus, which occurs as a result of abnormal cell growth in the lower esophagus. Columnar cells, typically found in the lining of the stomach, replace the squamous cells in the lining of the esophagus, which can lead to a cancerous condition.

The most common reason for doing capsule endoscopy of the small intestine is to search for a cause of bleeding or to investigate recurrent or persistent symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, or anemia. It may also help your physician to detect polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s Disease), ulcers, and tumors of the small intestine.

Once all equipment is removed from the patient, the portable DataRecorder downloads the video images to a designated workstation, from which the physician views and accesses the results in order to recommend the next steps in the patient’s treatment.

Most patients consider the testing comfortable. Patients are able to drink clear liquids after two hours and eat a light meal after four hours following the capsule ingestion, unless the doctor advises them otherwise. Although complications can occur, they are rare.

For more information consult your physician.

Mendota Community Hospital ● 1315 Memorial Drive ● Mendota, IL  61342 ● 815-539-7461
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