Small Bowel Endoscopy

What is a small bowel capsule endoscopy?

A small bowel video capsule endoscopy is a noninvasive technology that allows your doctor to inspect the lining of the small intestine, an area of the gastrointestinal tract that is generally difficult to image. It involves swallowing a small pill shaped camera that captures images as it passes through the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon.


When is a capsule endoscopy recommended?

A video capsule endoscopy is used to evaluate areas of the intestinal tract that are not visualized during an upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. It is used for the following conditions:

• To evaluate for a small intestinal source of bleeding
• Diagnosis of suspected Crohn’s disease
• Diagnosis of small bowel tumors
• Screening for small bowel polyps in genetic polyposis syndromes
• Unexplained abdominal pain
• Iron deficiency anemia


How to prepare for a capsule endoscopy?

Preparing for a capsule endoscopy involves certain diet restrictions and the use of laxatives the night prior to the examination. Your doctor will provide you with all instructions upon booking your procedure. The day prior to the colonoscopy involves following a clear liquid diet for dinner. Furthermore, you will be prescribed a special laxative drink which will clean out the intestines so that the following day the pillcam can see everything clearly. For more information, please see our Procedure Instructions section.


What happens during a video capsule endoscopy?

On the day of the procedure, the capsule recording equipment will be attached to you along with a belt wrapped around your lower chest. You will then be asked to swallow the video capsule with a small glass of water. You will be provided specific instructions on diet and care of the recording equipment. The entire recording lasts 8 hours and once complete, the equipment can be removed and returned to the office.


What are the advantages of performing a video capsule endoscopy?

• Minimally invasive
• Low risk
• No recovery time given no anesthesia required
• Allows for visualization of difficult to see areas of the intestinal tract
• Diagnoses a wide variety of gastrointestinal conditions and diseases

The information provided above is meant to be used as an informative guide for patients. For precise and individualized recommendations, please consult with one of our board certified gastroenterologists to discuss your symptoms.

For additional information or to book an appointment at the Gastroenterology Center of New York, please feel free to reach out to our dedicated team by calling us at 718-210-2960. You can also schedule online or reach out to us via the Contact Us form.

Questions? Our staff is always happy to assist.
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