Capsule endoscopy involves swallowing a pill-sized camera. It allows your doctor to view the lining of the small bowel, a portion of the GI tract that can be challenging for the physician to access. The small bowel is about 25 feet long and consists of the three portions: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. The most common reason for doing the procedure is to search for a cause of bleeding from the small intestine.
Preparation for capsule endoscopy generally involves adhering to a special diet for several hours prior. A laxative is generally not necessary. The patient presents to the office in the morning has a sensor device applied to the abdomen and ingests the capsule endoscope. The device contains its own lens and light source Captured images can then be viewed by the physician on a video monitor. The ‘camera’ passes naturally in the stool. Potential complications involve complications from obstruction, or the camera getting stuck. This can be dealt with in several ways, one of which is surgery.
For more information, please refer to the ASGE (American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy) website.