Capsule Endoscopy

Capsule Endoscopy Overview
Capsule endoscopy is also known as video capsule endoscopy or pill camera. This test sounds like science fiction, but it is used daily by gastroenterologists to look at areas of the gastrointestinal tract (small intestine) that are more difficult to reach with endoscopy.

Why get a capsule endoscopy?
When a cause of anemia from blood loss is not found using an upper endoscopy or a colonoscopy, a capsule endoscopy is often used to evaluate the entire small bowel. Other reasons include:
  • Crohn's disease
  • Celiac sprue
  • Diarrhea
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Abdominal pain

What can a capsule endoscopy detect?
A capsule endoscopy can detect benign vascular lesions that can cause bleeding leading to anemia. Capsule endoscopy can also detect the extent of inflammation and response to treatment in Crohn's disease. Changes in the lining of the small bowel related to Celiac sprue can also be assessed with capsule endoscopy. Ulcers, which may be from a variety of causes, and abnormal growths can also be detected.

Capsule Endoscopy Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the procedure for a capsule endoscopy?
A. The administering gastroenterologist will provide specific dietary instructions. The patient will swallow the capsule at his or her gastroenterologist's office. The information will be captured on sensors attached to the patient's abdomen and then stored on a small waist-band data recorder. Later that afternoon, the patient will return to his or her gastroenterologist's office where the data recorder will be removed. The information on the data recorder is uploaded to a computer, where it appears as a movie. The video capsule is spontaneously passed and does not need to be retrieved.

Q. How long does a capsule endoscopy last?
A. A capsule endoscopy lasts approximately 8 hours.

Q. Does capsule endoscopy require preparation?
A. It is generally felt that visualization of the small bowel is better when an oral laxative preparation is taken prior to the capsule endoscopy. The study can be done without an oral preparation, though this may slightly compromise visibility.

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. The information on this website is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified medical professional. Always seek the advice of your qualified medical professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Wednesday June 12, 2024