What is a Capsule Endoscopy?
Capsule endoscopy is a procedure designed to help your physician see what is happening inside parts of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract is the tube that extends from the mouth to the anus in which the movement of muscles digests food. During the procedure, a patient swallows a vitamin-sized pill with a camera inside (pill camera). Transported smoothly and painlessly through the GI tract by the body’s own natural peristalsis, the video pill capsule transmits images of different parts of your intestine such as the small intestine and the esophagus.
Why is a Capsule Endoscopy Done?
Capsule endoscopy helps your doctor evaluate the small intestine. This part of the bowel cannot be reached by traditional upper endoscopy or by a colonoscopy. The most common reason for doing capsule endoscopy is to search for a cause of bleeding from the small intestine. It may also be useful for detecting polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease), ulcers, and tumors of the small intestine. Capsule endoscopy is the least invasive and most direct way for doctors to see the entirety of the small intestine.
How Does One Prepare for a Capsule Endoscopy?
Our office will provide you with preparation instructions. If you have any questions, please call our office and ask for the medical assistant, or reach out through the patient portal.
After ingesting the capsule
- 11am you may have clear liquids.
- 1pm you may have a light lunch.
Time to return to the facility is between 4:15and 4:45PM.
How is a Capsule Endoscopy Performed?
The procedure is painless. The patient must fast for eight hours prior to the test. On the morning of the exam, the patient comes into our office. Video sensors are attached to the patient’s abdomen and the sensors are connected to a data recorder (the recorder is carried by the patient in a small sack attached to the waist). Once the patient swallows the video capsule he or she is free to carry out their normal activities for the next eight hours while the data is recorded. Pictures are taken (two images per second) by the capsule during this time period. The patient returns to our office after eight hours for removal and collection of the sensors and video recorder. At that point, our technician downloads the recordings to a disk. Your physician then reads the disk and interprets its findings.
What Happens After a Capsule Endoscopy is Done?
After the test is complete, and in a few days you did not positively verify the secretion of the M2A Capsule from your body, and you develop unexplained post procedure nausea, abdominal pain or vomiting, contact the office for evaluation and possible X-ray examination.