Capsule endoscopy is an endoscopic test using a special capsule that contains a lens, camera and a flash. This test is one of the most accurate ways to examine the small bowel that is difficult to examine with an endoscope.
Why is Capsule Endoscopy done?
The most common reason is to determine the cause of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding that eludes detection by upper endoscopy and colonoscopy. Diseases of the small bowel such as ulcers, tumors, Crohn’s disease and vascular lesions can be detected by this procedure.
How is Capsule Endoscopy done?
Patient usually undergo a gentle bowel prep (far less than for colonoscopy). They come to our office without eating for 8 hours. A recorder is worn and the patient swallows a capsule with water. They can go home and stay on a liquid diet but come back to the office eight hours later. The images are transferred from the recorder to the computer and is hen read by the physician.
What happens to the capsule?
The capsule has a battery that allows it to work for 8 hours (flash and capture images). The expended capsule is passed in the stool.
Are there any complications of Capsule Endoscopy?
The test is very safe but some patients have trouble swallowing a pill. Rarely, the pill may get stuck at a narrowing (stricture) in the small intestine and may not pass. These patients need an X-Ray to document the narrowing and may need surgery to remove the capsule an correct the underlying narrowing.