Capsule endoscopy (en
DOS-skuh-pee) enables the physician to look
inside the small intestine. The procedure
might be used to discover a source of
bleeding suspected to be in the small bowel,
diagnose Crohn's disease or look for small
bowel tumors or changes of celiac disease.
For the procedure you will swallow a small
capsule, about the size of a vitamin tablet.
This will transmit images to storage device
that you wear. Right before the procedure
the nurse will attach a sensor array to your
abdomen using sticky pads similar to those
used for an EKG of your heart. A sash
containing a data recorder is then worn. The
capsule transmits images of the small bowel
to the hard drive over the course of 8
hours, so the physician can carefully
examine the lining of the small intestine.
The test is begun in the morning and you are
able to leave the physicians office,
returning in the afternoon to drop off the
sash. The process is completely painless and
the capsule does not need to be retrieved,
passing naturally in the next few days. The
physician then uses special software to
create a movie from the images obtained
which is then reviewed.
A possible complication of capsule endoscopy is capsule retention. This occurs rarely in patients with intestinal strictures, either from past inflammatory intestinal diseases or bowel resections. However, this complication is very uncommon. Most people will not notice the capsule at all. No sedation is needed.
Preparation for Capsule EndoscopyYour stomach and small bowel must be empty for the procedure to be thorough and safe, so you will not be able to eat or drink anything for at least 10 hours beforehand. You must also drink one bottle of Milk of Magnesia to clear out any residue in the small intestine. You may drive yourself to and from the office for the test. Depending on your medical history, our physicians may give you other special instructions.
Please contact us for additional questions regarding capsule endoscopy.