Capsule Endoscopy

Centers for Digestive Health

Gastroenterology located in Highland, IN, Merrillville, IN, Gary, IN, DeMotte, IN, Crown Point, IN & Dyer, IN

If you’re having small intestine issues, capsule endoscopy can pinpoint the problem so you can get the treatment you need. At the Centers for Digestive Health in Highland, Gary, Merrillville, Dyer, Crown Point, and DeMotte, Indiana, the esteemed board-certified gastroenterologists offer cutting-edge testing and treatments like capsule endoscopy on a convenient outpatient basis. Call the office nearest you or click the online scheduling tool.

Capsule Endoscopy Q&A

What is capsule endoscopy?

In capsule endoscopy, you swallow a small capsule that houses a miniature camera, battery, light, and transmitter. As the capsule traverses your digestive system, it gathers information that your doctor uses to evaluate your small intestine. 

Because your small intestine isn't visible through colonoscopy or upper endoscopy, the capsule endoscopy is an effective way to check for problems and abnormalities in this area.

The Centers for Digestive Health uses the PillCam™, a state-of-the-art vitamin-sized capsule endoscopy system from Medtronic.

When might I need a capsule endoscopy?

There are a few reasons you could need a capsule endoscopy, including:

  • Finding the reason for small intestine bleeding
  • Detecting polyps
  • Diagnosing Crohn's disease
  • Detecting ulcers
  • Detecting small intestine tumors
  • Celiac disease testing

Capsule endoscopy can allow your doctor to find problems early when they're the most treatable.

How does a capsule endoscopy work?

Your doctor affixes a sensor device to your abdomen. After you swallow the capsule, it moves through your digestive tract just like food would. As the capsule moves, it sends images to the data recorder device on your belt for about 8-12 hours. 

After that period, you come back to the Centers for Digestive Health office so your doctor can remove the data recorder and sensors.

The capsule leaves your body in an ordinary bowel movement (no need to retrieve it) within the next day. 

In the days following your capsule endoscopy procedure, your doctor downloads images from your data recorder and analyzes them to determine whether you have any small intestine issues. You typically return to the office to learn about your diagnosis and treatment plan within the next week. 

How do I prepare for a capsule endoscopy?

A member of the Centers for Digestive Health team gives you preparation instructions ahead of time. Usually, this includes fasting for 12 hours before your scheduled capsule endoscopy. You may need to do a bowel prep before capsule endoscopy, too.

Your physician reviews your current medication list with you ahead of time, and you may also need to temporarily adjust the dosage of certain medications. If you have a history of gastrointestinal problems that your doctor doesn't know about, be sure to discuss those issues ahead of time. 

In certain situations, for example, a history of bowel obstructions or bowel strictures, you may not be a good candidate for capsule endoscopy.

Can I eat during capsule endoscopy?

You can drink clear liquids two hours after you swallow the PillCam. Then, you can have a light meal at the four-hour mark. Other than the eating restriction, the only other rule is to avoid strenuous physical activity during capsule endoscopy. 

To book your capsule endoscopy, call the Centers for Digestive Health or click the online booking tool.