Capsule Endoscopy

Gastroenterology located in St. Clair Shores and Macomb, MI
Capsule Endoscopy

Capsule Endoscopy services offered in St. Clair Shores and Macomb, MI

If you have signs of a problem in your small intestine, you may need a capsule endoscopy to diagnose the underlying problem. The board-certified gastroenterologists at G.I. Medicine Associates, P.C. offer an array of advanced endoscopic procedures, but a capsule endoscopy is the only one that produces images of your small intestine. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call the office in St. Clair Shores or Macomb, Michigan.

Capsule Endoscopy Q&A

What is capsule endoscopy?

Capsule endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that produces images of your small intestine. Your provider can only view the uppermost part of the small intestine (near your stomach) during an upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy. 

A capsule endoscopy allows them to examine the entire length of your small intestine, from your stomach to the large intestine. 

The team at G.I. Medicine Associates, P.C. uses an advanced device called the PillCam® SB (small bowel). Despite being a tiny, vitamin-sized capsule, the device contains a video camera, light source, batteries, and a radio transmitter.

After you swallow the PillCam, it travels through your GI tract, snapping thousands of images. The PillCam sends the images to a recorder you wear on a belt around your waist. 

After the capsule leaves your GI tract, your provider downloads the images to a computer, views them, and identifies any problems in the lining of your small intestine.

When would I need capsule endoscopy?

Your provider may recommend a capsule endoscopy to determine the cause of symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or unintended weight loss.

The team at G.I. Medicine Associates, P.C. often uses capsule endoscopy to diagnose conditions in the small intestine, such as:

  • Polyps
  • Ulcers
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Tumors
  • Infections
  • Blockages

You may also need a capsule endoscopy to diagnose the cause of malabsorption.

How do I prepare for a capsule endoscopy?

Your digestive tract must be empty for the camera to pick up the best images. Your provider gives you specific preparation instructions, but most people need to fast for 10 hours before their scheduled capsule endoscopy appointment.

What happens during a capsule endoscopy?

You only need to swallow the PillCam with a small amount of water. Then your provider puts the belt around your waist and sensors in the belt pick up the images and store them on a recorder. You can return to your regular routine, but your provider may ask you to limit some activities.

It takes about 8 hours for the PillCam to travel through your gastrointestinal tract. Then you eliminate it naturally through a bowel movement. 

You can resume your usual diet four hours after swallowing the PillCam unless given other instructions.

If you have unexplained abdominal pain or gastrointestinal bleeding, call G.I. Medicine Associates, P.C., to book an appointment.