Capsule endoscopy allows a visual examination of the entire small intestine; the only part of the G.I. tract that is beyond the reach of conventional endoscopy. The procedure involves swallowing a capsule endoscope about the size of a large vitamin capsule. The capsule passes through the gut taking two digital photographs every second. The images are transmitted to sensors that are attached to the patient’s abdomen. The data is collected in a recording device. Patients leave the office after swallowing the capsule and return after eight hours to have the sensors and data recorder removed. The images are uploaded from the recoding device into a computer. The gastroenterologist then reviews the images in a movie format.

The most common indication for capsule endoscopy is bleeding when upper G.I. endoscopy and colonoscopy have failed to diagnose the cause. It may also be used in patients with abdominal pain and diarrhea in whom Crohn’s disease is suspected.

Capsule endoscopy is performed in our office.

For more information on wireless capsule endoscopy visit: The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy