Wireless Capsule Endoscopy allows your gastroenterologist to examine the lining of the small intestine. Your small intestine is located between your stomach and large intestine (colon) and is a part of the bowel that cannot be reached by upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. Capsule endoscopy may be performed to look for a cause of bleeding in the small intestine and it can also detect polyps, ulcers, tumors and Crohn’s Disease.
You will swallow a capsule, about the size of a large vitamin, that contains a tiny wireless camera. The camera takes thousands of pictures as it travels through your digestive tract and the images are transmitted to a data recorder you wear on a belt around your waist. After ingesting the capsule, you may return home for the day and will return approximately eight hours later so the data recorder belt can be removed.
The images saved on the recorder are transferred to a computer with software that puts the images together to create a video. Your physician will watch the video to look for any abnormalities.
The capsule will pass normally in a bowel movement but in rare cases, may become lodged in an area of narrowing in the gastrointestinal tract. In those rare cases, the capsule may cause a bowel obstruction and need to be removed endoscopically or surgically.