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Capsule Endoscopy

Capsule Endoscopy Procedures

A capsule endoscopy allows a physician to take pictures of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine using a small video camera that is swallowed. The capsule contains one or two video chips (cameras), a light bulb, a battery, and a radio transmitter. As the capsule travels through the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine, it takes photographs rapidly. The photographs are transmitted by the video camera's radio transmitter to a small receiver device that is worn on the patient's waist. When the capsule endoscopy procedure is over, approximately 24 hours later, the photographs are downloaded from the receiver into a computer, and the images are reviewed by a physician. The capsule is passed by the patient and flushed away.

Reasons for Capsule Endoscopy Procedure

In the past, the small intestine has been a difficult organ to accurately diagnose and treat without performing surgery because it is out of reach of a traditional colonoscope or an upper gastroenterological endoscope. A capsule endoscopy procedure is performed primarily to locate the reason why there is bleeding from the small intestine. It can also be used to detect polyps, Crohn’s disease, and other conditions affecting the small intestine, including tumors and ulcers.