Capsule Endoscopy

What is Capsule Endoscopy?

Capsule endoscopy is a new technique to examine the small intestine. The upper endoscope and colonoscope are not able to visualize the 15-20 foot length of the small intestine to any significant extent. The capsule endoscopy allows a much more detailed view than afforded by the traditional Upper GI series X-ray. We do a capsule study to look for unexplained causes of gastrointestinal bleeding, anemia, or diarrhea.

The capsule is the size of a multi-vitamin tablet. It contains a miniature camera and a tiny battery and it takes 2 pictures per second as it travels through the small bowel. The images are recorded on a receiver that is worn around the waist. At the conclusion, these transmitted pictures are downloaded into the computer for viewing. The capsule will pass harmlessly in the stool.

You will arrive at the Endoscopy Unit on an empty stomach. Sedation is not necessary. You would return 8 hours later to return the recorder. You will be allowed to drink some clear liquids 2 hours and eat a light meal 4 hours after swallowing the capsule.

Risks / Complications:

There are 2 major reasons why a capsule endoscopy should not be performed. A pacemaker would be an absolute contra-indication as pacemaker function might be disturbed. Another would be the known presence of an obstruction as 1 to 2 % of capsules have been found to lodge.

We will notify you within a week regarding the results of the test.