Video capsule endoscopy is a procedure that uses a pill-sized video camera to look for abnormalities in the GI tract that standard endoscopy cannot detect.
The patient swallows a vitamin-sized capsule containing a tiny wireless video camera, which records as it travels through the GI tract. The pictures taken by the camera are sent to a small belt the patient wears.
Capsule endoscopy helps diagnose GI issues
Video capsule endoscopy is used to help diagnose:
- GI bleeding
- Enlarged veins (varices)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease)
- Celiac disease
Capsule endoscopy process
Patients will have to fast for 12 hours prior to the procedure.
Doctors will place chest sensors on the patient and connect them to the small device that records the images the capsule takes. The device is worn on a belt. The patient will then be given a capsule to swallow.
The capsule travels along the GI tract taking video images and sending the pictures to the sensor device.
The patient returns to their doctor’s office approximately eight hours after swallowing the capsule. The capsule is passed naturally in the stool and cannot be reused.
The doctor will remove the belt from the patient and view the video images. This review of the images usually takes about a week.