Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy

For many years, gastroenterologists had a very difficult time examining the small intestine due to its location and the highly invasive methods that it took to reach the area. Fortunately, advancements in technology have provided a solution to this problem: the small bowel capsule endoscopy.

A small bowel capsule endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that involves the use of a small, wireless camera that fits into a vitamin-sized capsule. Once the patient has swallowed the capsule, it begins to take photos and record other data from inside the digestive tract.

What is the Purpose of a Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy?

This procedure is able to detect all kinds of different abnormalities within the GI tract. Most often, a small bowel capsule endoscopy will be conducted to determine more about:

  • Internal bleeding from the small intestine
  • Inflammation of the intestine
  • Celiac disease monitoring
  • A screening for polyps
  • Potentially cancerous tumors growing within the small intestine
  • Unresolved and persistent pain
  • Abnormal results from a CT scan, X-Ray, or other imaging device

How Should I Prepare for My Capsule Endoscopy?

Because the objective of a small bowel capsule endoscopy is to gather insights about the small intestine, it is essential that the pathway is clear so that all information gathered may be as accurate as possible. In order to achieve optimal results, patients should follow these guidelines prior to their small bowel endoscopy:

  • Maintain a liquid-only diet starting 12-24 hours before the procedure
  • Refrain from any food or drink starting around midnight on the night before the endoscopy
  • Double check on your insurance coverage for the procedure before coming in to the office

It is also important to carefully follow any and all additional instructions given by your gastroenterologist to ensure that the test goes smoothly. If you have any further questions about the small bowel capsule endoscopy process, please contact your doctor today by calling (773) 631-2728.