This information is intended only to provide general guidance. It does not provide definitive medical advice. It is important that you consult your doctor about your specific condition.
A wireless capsule endoscopy, also known as capsule enteroscopy, is a procedure that uses a swallowed, pill-sized wireless camera to visually examine the inside lining of the three portions of the small intestine, which includes the duodenum, jejunum and ileum. The camera will take thousands of photographs as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract. The camera wirelessly transmits these photographs to a small recording device that is worn on the outside of the body. The photographs are then downloaded to a computer about 24 hours after the procedure. The capsule will then be passed through the digestive tract and out of the rectum; this may take up to two weeks to occur.
While portions of the intestine can be seen during a colonoscopy or upper endoscopy procedure, these procedures are unable to provide a complete view of the small intestine. The capsule endoscopy is able to provide a view of the small intestine and is helpful in detecting some of the following conditions:
- Intestinal bleeding
- Intestinal inflammation
- Causes of diarrhea
- Celiac disease
- Crohn's disease
- Causes of iron deficiency anemia
While this procedure can provide a more accurate and detailed result than an X-ray, a capsule endoscopy is unable to perform therapy in the area of concern. A capsule endoscopy is a rapidly improving technology that is making conditions of the small intestine much easier to diagnose.This procedure is performed in Dr. Harary's office on East 55 Street. In order to prepare for the procedure, no food is eaten after midnight. The recording device is placed on outside of the patient's body, under the shirt, using a cloth strap. The capsule is then swallowed, and the patient leaves the office. Certain dietary limitations are necessary for the remainder of the day. The recorder is returned to the office the next morning.