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Capsule Endoscopy at Drexel Gastroenterology

Capsule endoscopy pill camera.

When standard endoscopy cannot determine the cause of an unexplained gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, our doctors perform a capsule endoscopy study, using a vitamin-sized capsule that contains a camera to view the small intestine.

Capsule endoscopy is used at Drexel Gastroenterology to see detailed images of the gastrointestinal tract—in particular the small intestine. The most common reason for capsule endoscopy is to search for a cause of bleeding from the small intestine. It may also be useful for detecting polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn's disease, ulcers, and tumors of the small intestine.

What to Expect During Capsule Endoscopy

During capsule endoscopy, a sensor device is applied to the patient's abdomen with adhesive sleeves that are similar to tape. The patient then swallows the pill-sized capsule endoscope, which passes naturally through the digestive tract. Throughout its journey, the capsule transmits video images to a data recorder that is worn on a belt around the patient's waist for approximately eight hours. Unlike upper endoscopy or colonoscopy, capsule endoscopy doesn't require sedation and allows a patient to continue normal activities during the study.

At the end of the test, patients return to the office and the data recorder is removed for analysis by a gastroenterologist. The capsule is eliminated naturally, usually within 24 to 72 hours after been ingested.

Patients with GI bleeding or those that have been referred by a doctor for iron deficiency are both good candidates for capsule endoscopy.

The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.

The images being used are for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted is a model.

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