Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Diseases

Capsule Endoscopy

About Capsule Endoscopy

Capsule endoscopy is a procedure that uses a tiny wireless camera to take pictures of your digestive tract. A capsule endoscopy camera sits inside a vitamin-size capsule you swallow. As the capsule travels through your digestive tract, the camera takes thousands of pictures that are transmitted to a recorder you wear on a belt around your waist.

Capsule Endoscopy lets your doctor examine the lining of the middle part of your gastrointestinal tract – small intestine. Traditional endoscopy involves passing a long, flexible tube equipped with a video camera down your throat or through your rectum.

Why do you need one?

Capsule endoscopy helps your doctor to evaluate the small intestine. This part of the bowel cannot be reached by traditional upper endoscopy or by colonoscopy. The most common reason for doing capsule endoscopy is to search for a cause of bleeding from the small intestine.

Helpful for diagnosis

Capsule endoscopies help your doctor rule out possible conditions or make a diagnosis for issues such as:

  • Early signs of gastrointestinal cancer.
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anemia with low hemoglobin
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Unexplained blood loss
  • Ulcers


An empty stomach allows for the best and safest examination, so you should have nothing to eat or drink, including water, for approximately twelve hours before the examination. Your doctor will tell you when to start fasting. A capsule endoscopy may require taking a laxative before the procedure. 

Tell your doctor in advance about any medications you take including iron, aspirin and other over-the-counter medications. You might need to adjust your usual dose prior to the examination.

Discuss any allergies to medications as well as medical conditions, such as swallowing disorders and heart or lung disease.

Tell your doctor of the presence of a pacemaker or defibrillator, previous abdominal surgery, or previous history of bowel obstructions in the bowel, inflammatory bowel disease, or adhesions.

During the test: After swallowing the capsule, you may drink clear liquids and take your medications after 2 hours, and you may eat after 4 hours. Avoid MRI studies, ham radios, and metal detectors. No strenuous physical activity is allowed. Keep all the equipment dry; do not shower, bathe, or swim.