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Capsule Endoscopy

SoHo Gastroenterology

Murray Orbuch, MD

Gastroenterologist located in SoHo & Financial District, New York City, NY

If a patient suffers from unexplained iron deficiency anemia, has suspected Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, or bleeding from the intestines where the source hasn’t been identified, the doctor may want to perform a capsule endoscopy to identify possible abnormalities inside the small intestine.

What is Capsule Endoscopy?

Also called capsule enteroscopy or a capsule study of the small bowel, capsule endoscopy lets the doctor examine the lining of the middle section of the gastrointestinal tract that is beyond the reach of a standard upper endoscopy and colonoscopy, namely, portions of the small intestine called the jejunum, and ileum. The capsule is simply swallowed and during its pass

How Does it Work?

Patients swallow a vitamin-pill-sized capsule that captures a 360º view of their digestive tract as it travels through the intestines. The procedure is simple and the instructions are as follows:

  • A partial bowel prep is taken the day before the procedure to ensure that the intestines are cleaned-out to insure a complete and unobstructed view of the small intestine lining.
  • A vitamin-sized capsule is swallowed with a full glass of water.
  • The capsule is then retrieved anywhere between 3-30 hours later using a simple capture system during your regular bowel movement.
  • The retrieved capsule is next mailed to a processing center.
  • The doctor reviews the images once they are downloaded and will share the findings with you.

Preparation for the Capsule Endoscopy

The day before the procedure, only liquids are permitted. The patient will be provided with specific instructions for the hours leading up to the capsule and following, until its retrieval.

What to expect after the capsule is swallowed?

The patient should not feel any pain or discomfort while swallowing the capsule or as the capsule travels through their digestive tract. The capsule should pass naturally with a bowel movement. Unlike other endoscopic procedures, it does not require sedation.

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