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Video Capsule Endoscopy

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

What is video capsule endoscopy?

Video capsule endoscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor to examine your small intestine for sources of bleeding. It may be especially helpful for diagnosing Crohn's disease.

How is it done?

For this procedure, you swallow a capsule that is less than an inch long (about 23 millimeters). A technician attaches sensors to your chest and connects them to a data recorder that you wear on a belt around your waist. The capsule contains a tiny video camera. As the capsule travels through your gastrointestinal tract, the camera takes pictures and sends them to the data recorder. After 8 hours, the technician removes the data recorder and looks at the pictures. The capsule passes out of your body in the stool in a day or two.

What are the advantages?

Video capsule endoscopy is becoming popular because it has several advantages over traditional endoscopy:

When should it not be used?

Video capsule endoscopy is generally safe and well tolerated. But it should not be used if you are known to have intestinal obstructions or narrowing (strictures) or abnormal connections or openings between two organs or parts of the body (fistulas).


Credits for Video Capsule Endoscopy

Current as of: September 8, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Arvydas D. Vanagunas MD - Gastroenterology


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