About Capsule Endoscopy (Camera Pill)
Capsule endoscopy allows physicians to obtain a video of the inside of a patient’s small intestine. The patient swallows a capsule, about the size of a large vitamin, which then travels naturally throughout the small intestine. The capsule contains a color camera, battery, light source, and transmitter, and is able to capture up to 50,000 digital photos.
Capsule endoscopy enables physicians to spot and identify potential problems. It may be used to detect polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease), ulcers, vascular malformations, and tumors within the small intestine.
- Patient swallows a small capsule in the morning in the physician’s office.
- Patient wears a battery-operated data recorder for up to eight hours.
- Images of the intestinal track are transmitted twice each second by radio frequency to an array of sensors worn around the patient’s abdomen. The signals are digitally recorded.
- At the end of the day, the images are downloaded to a computer and reviewed on a video monitor by a gastroenterologist.
- The capsule is excreted normally.