A capsule endoscopy involves a pill-sized container that the patient swallows. The container, or capsule, contains a tiny wireless camera that, through the clear casing of the capsule, takes thousands of photos of the gastrointestinal tract and sends them to a recorder the patient wears.
These images will alert the gastroenterologist to the presence of lesions, tumors, polyps, inflammation, or other issues. Frequently, a capsule endoscopy is recommended to view the small intestine, which is difficult to examine by other methods.
The capsule (which is disposable) will pass through the patient in a bowel movement, and the patient will return the recording device to his/her physician for review.
The patient will be advised not to eat or drink for up to 10 hours before swallowing the capsule, and may have to modify diet during the testing period. The patient may be prescribed medication to clear the bowel, and the gastroenterologist will want a complete list of medications the patient is taking.