Wireless Video Capsule Endoscopy (capsule endoscopy) is a non-invasive technology designed to image the small intestine. The capsule contains a battery, a camera, and a transmitter to send images to a recording device that is within a box outside of the patient's body. The primary indications for capsule endoscopy are to evaluate the site of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding. That is bleeding that remains undefined after colonoscopy and EGD. This test can also be used to diagnosis difficult cases of Crohn's disease, localized to the small intestine, and small bowel tumors.
In preparation, there is a fast for 12 hours before the examination. Some providers recommend a bowel preparation similar to colonoscopy before capsule endoscopy, however, recent studies suggest minimal benefit from this approach.
The video capsule is swallowed with water. Following capsule ingestion, clear liquids may be taken after two hours and food within four hours.
Capsule endoscopy is extremely safe. Although not necessarily a severe reaction, the capsule may be retained because of strictures 1.4% of the time.