Capsule Endoscopy

What is a Capsule Endoscopy?

A capsule endoscopy is a non-invasive procedure that examines the lining of your small intestine. This is done if the EGD and colonoscopy fail to find an answer to the patient’s problem. Reasons for capsule endoscopy include: diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, anemia, gastrointestinal bleeding or abdominal pain (if it has not been found on EGD or colonoscopy).

During the capsule endoscopy procedure you will swallow a small pill with a tiny camera built inside. This camera will take multiple pictures every second. A signal will transmit to a monitor that the patient will be wearing. It will take approx 8 hours for the camera to completely pass through your system. The patient does not have to stay in the doctor’s office for this procedure nor do they have to retrieve the pill. The patient will however need to return the recording belt device at the end of the day. At that time the device will be downloaded onto a computer for the doctor to review.

In general, the risks of capsule endoscopy are minor; however, the most serious risks include retention of the capsule and development of small bowel obstruction as a result of the capsule. This is especially important for those who have had prior abdominal surgeries.