Capsule Endoscopy at AGMG
Learn about Capsule Endoscopy from the doctors of Associated Gastroenterology
Capsule endoscopy is an innovative technology that allows for non-invasive imaging of the GI tract. The doctors of AGMG are highly skilled at reading capsule endoscopies and are one of the few centers in Orange County to offer this procedure.
What is a capsule endoscopy?
A capsule endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a small camera that is shaped like a pill. The pill is swallowed, and thousands of images of the GI tract are transmitted wirelessly to a recorder that is worn on the patients belt. The images that are sent are then viewed as a continuous video to see the inside of the small intestine. The camera pill is then passed in the stool without need to be collected.
What are the uses for a capsule endoscopy?
Your gastroenterologist will use the images from this test to look for abnormalities in your small bowel, such as:
- Celiac Disease
- Crohn's Disease
- Erosions (superficial ulcers)
- Other suspected small bowel diseases
The Capsule Endoscopy Procedure
- Have nothing to eat or drink for approximately 12 hours before the procedure to ensure bowels are clear
- Discontinue any medications prior to the procedure
- Bowel cleansing may be suggested prior to the procedure
- Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing
- Make sure the transponder is always near your body so that the images can be clearly transmitted
- Patients can go about their day as the recorder captures pictures from the camera capsule. Patients may carry out normal activities, including very light food and liquid intake, but should not exercise during the 8 to 12 hour time frame. At the end of the day, the sensor device and belt are removed.
- The camera capsule is disposable and will pass painlessly and naturally during bowel elimination within 24 to 48 hours of the procedure. The capsule does not need to be recovered
- Return to the transponder as discussed at the time of your procedure
Frequently Asked Questions
No, this is a painless procedure. You swallow a camera that is designed to look like a pill. There is pain, irritation or discomfort involved.
Capsule endoscopy is a very safe procedure. There are rare cases of the capsule getting stuck in the GI tract occasionally requiring surgery to remove. The capsule can become stuck at sites of narrowing such as strictures, tumors or surgical anastomosis. The doctor will take a careful history prior to the capsule procedure to make sure that these conditions do not exist. Lastly, there is some concern for interference from capsule endoscopy and cardiac pacemakers or defibrillators so pillcam should not be used in patients with pacemakers.