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Capsule Endoscopy

Specialists in Gastroenterology

Board Certified Gastroenterologists located in St. Louis, MO

If you have unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding or need diagnostic testing for Crohn’s disease of the small bowel, you might be a candidate for a capsule endoscopy. At Specialists in Gastroenterology, the board-certified gastroenterologists place and read the capsule endoscopy results in the office to diagnose conditions of the small bowel. The results of this non-invasive test help the providers customize a treatment plan to your needs so you can find long-term relief of your symptoms. Learn more about the benefits of a capsule endoscopy by calling the office in St. Louis, Missouri, or booking an appointment online today.

Capsule Endoscopy Q & A

What is a capsule endoscopy?

Capsule endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that uses a small, wireless camera to take pictures of your digestive tract. The camera sits inside an easy-to-swallow capsule. 

Once you ingest the capsule, it travels through your digestive system and takes thousands of pictures. The capsule sends the pictures to a recorder that you wear around your waist on a belt.

Why would I need a capsule endoscopy?

Specialists in Gastroenterology might recommend a capsule endoscopy as part of diagnostic testing for small intestine issues like:

  • Anemia
  • Obscure GI bleeding
  • Crohn's disease
  • Celiac disease

Capsule endoscopy can also identify inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and provide your gastroenterologist with information about issues with iron deficiency anemia.

What can I expect during capsule endoscopy?

Prior to your capsule endoscopy, Specialists in Gastroenterology lets you know how to prepare for the procedure. This includes changing your medication schedule in the days leading up the test and not eating for at least 12 hours.

On the day of your test, you swallow the camera capsule with some water. The capsule has a clear coating that makes it easy to swallow and you shouldn’t experience any discomfort as the capsule moves through your digestive tract.

You can resume your usual activities immediately after a capsule endoscopy but should avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting. You should wait three to five hours before drinking clear liquids and four hours before you eat.

How long will the capsule stay in my body?

In general, capsule endoscopy is complete within twelve hours. 

In some cases, it can take several days for the camera to move out of your body. In rare situations, you might need an X-ray to locate a capsule you don’t pass within two weeks.

How will I receive the results of my capsule endoscopy?

To review the pictures of your small intestine, Specialists in Gastroenterology transfers the images from the recorder to a computer using software that strings the images together to create a video.  

They can determine if you need additional diagnostic testing or treatment based on the results of your test.

To learn more about the diagnostic benefits of a capsule endoscopy, call Specialists in Gastroenterology or book a consultation online today.