Wireless Capsule Endoscopy

  • A wireless capsule endoscopy is a specialized procedure used to examine the entire small intestine. Only a small portion of the small intestine can be reached either by upper endoscopy or colonoscopy which makes this test useful to help in the diagnosis of certain conditions including anemia, inflammatory bowel disease as and celiac disease.
  • The capsule used in this study is the size of a large vitamin and contains a light and a camera. After you swallow the pill, the capsule captures tens of thousands of pictures which are transmitted to a recording device that you wear around your belt. This exam typically takes about 8 hours and you are able to go about normal activities during this time. No sedation is required for this exam. The capsule typically passes in the stool in about 24 hours. It does not need to be retrieved and is flushed down the toilet.
  • This procedure is very safe. The only known risk is that the capsule may become stuck within the intestine which may require a colonoscopy or surgery to remove. This very rare event only occurs in conditions where there is a narrowing in the intestine due to inflammation, scar tissue or a tumor.

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