Capsule Endoscopy

Capsule endoscopy is a medical procedure that helps your doctor visualize the inside of your small intestine, which is sometimes difficult to reach with traditional endoscopy procedures and imaging tests.  The procedure uses a tiny wireless camera to take pictures of your digestive tract.

Your doctor will give you a vitamin-sized capsule to swallow. This capsule will travel through your digestive tract, taking thousands of photos that are transmitted to a recorder you wear on a belt, around your waist.  Once the recorder is connected, you will be asked to swallow the capsule with a glass of water.  You may feel the capsule when you first swallow it, but once it has gone through your throat, you will not feel anything, as it travels through your body. Results may take a few days to a week.

Typically, this procedure is completed within eight hours, or when you see the capsule in the toilet after a bowel movement.   It is safe to flush the capsule; it is not necessary to retrieve it.  If you do not see the capsule within two weeks, let your doctor know.  He or she may order an X-ray to see if it is still in your body.

The capsule endoscopy may be used to diagnose the following gastrointestinal diseases:

At Premier Medical Group, the Pillcam is used.  This transmits two color images per second to the recording device worn.  As a result, over 50,000 images of the small bowel are received.  Generally, the capsule is administered in the morning, and the patient comes back eight hours later to have the monitor removed. This procedure is performed in our Poughkeepsie location.