A capsule endoscopy is used to view the digestive tract with a small, swallowable camera. Your intestine is divided into two major sections, the large intestine and the small intestine. The large intestine is easily viewed by a traditional colonoscopy, but the small intestine can be more difficult to see clearly. A capsule endoscopy is usually performed to diagnose the cause of unexplained bleeding or anemia, to check for ulcers and polyps, or to further evaluate an abnormal x-ray, abdominal pain, or diarrhea.
The procedure works by attaching a small sensor to your abdomen. Then a pill-sized capsule containing a tiny camera is swallowed. Over the next eight hours, the camera transmits video images to the sensor while the capsule passes through your digestive tract.
During that time, it’s important that you refrain from vigorous activity, avoid scheduling or coming in contact with an MRI, and do not disconnect the recording device. Light drinking and eating can begin at set intervals of the test, but follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. At the end of eight hours you will return to the office and be disconnected from the recording device, and the data from the recorder will be analyzed by your doctor.