Video Capsule Endoscopy

A video capsule endoscopy provides patients with a non-invasive approach to having their small bowel viewed and examined by Gastroenterologists. 

What is a Video Capsule Endoscopy?

The video capsule endoscopy procedure involves the patient ingesting of a small capsule (roughly the size of a vitamin tablet) that then travels, just like a piece of food, through the stomach, small bowel and into the large bowel. As it travels through the digestive tract, the capsule, which contains a tiny camera, can take 2-4 images per second for eight hours and has been specifically developed to view the small bowel.

It is used to try and pinpoint bleeding in hidden areas of the small bowel, which can be difficult to access with other methods. It is also useful for tracking small bowel tumours and obscure abdominal pain.

Recording probes, taped onto the abdomen, track the progress of the capsule as it makes its way through the gastrointestinal system. The images obtained by the capsule are transmitted to a data-recorder worn in a harness around the waist.

Information from the Gastroenterological Society of Australia website.

Capsule Endoscopy Video

How should I prepare for a capsule endoscopy?

You need to be on a clear fluid diet from 12pm the day prior to your capsule endoscopy procedure. A pharmaceutical product will also be given to ensure clear images are seen throughout your procedure.

What about current medications?

Please advise us of all medications prior to your capsule endoscopy.

What happens to the capsule?

The swallowed capsule is typically passed through bowel movements approximately 12 hours after swallowing. Many people do not notice the capsule being passed through their stools. In rare cases, the capsule may become stuck in the digestive tract, and if this occurs, then surgery or an endoscopy may be required to remove the capsule.