Capsule Endoscopy Procedure

What is it?

Capsule endoscopy is a procedure that allows video to be taken of the GI tract. By taking a pill that contains a miniature camera, the endoscopy passes through your digestive system during an eight-hour period. The pill transmits images to a portable computer on a belt that you wear. The images are transmitted at a rate of two frames per second while primarily focusing on the approximately 20 feet of small bowel that can’t easily be reached by a traditional endoscope or a colonoscope.

How is it Done?

Capsule endoscopy is normally done the first thing in the morning after you’ve fasted all night. Prior to the procedure, a group of patches with sensors are placed on your abdomen, and a small video recording device and battery pack are attached to a belt that’s worn around the waist during the procedure. After swallowing the endoscopy capsule with water you are sent home. You can have clear liquids after two hours, and you can have food and take your medications four hours after taking the capsule. Later in the day you’ll return to your physician’s office so the recording device can be removed. The video will be downloaded to the computer at that time. The capsule itself should pass through your body within 48 hours and doesn’t need to be retrieved.

Capsule Endoscopy Procedure Video

This procedure is used to examine the small intestine for inflammation, bleeding, ulcers, or abnormal growths. The patient swallows a pill-shaped capsule that contains a lighted camera, known as an endoscope, which transmits video of the intestine.

Why is it done?

Capsule endoscopy is performed to address the following issues:

  • Gastrointestinal blood loss
  • Abnormal images of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Chronic pain in the abdomen
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Polyposis syndrome (an inherited disorder characterized by cancer of the colon and rectum)