Video Capsule Endoscopy

The Henry Ford IBD Center offers the latest advancements in the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, including video capsule endoscopy, also known as pill camera endoscopy. Our specialists use this minimally invasive procedure to capture thousands of images of hard-to-reach areas of your digestive tract.

Video capsule endoscopy is most often used when patients have been diagnosed with several conditions and the specific cause of their discomfort is not well understood. This test can help provide a more specific diagnosis and lead to a more success treatment plan.

What is capsule endoscopy?

Video capsule endoscopy is a procedure that takes detailed pictures of your digestive tract using a tiny wireless camera. This camera sits inside of a pill that you swallow. The pill is the size of a large vitamin capsule.

Capsule endoscopy helps your doctor see inside your small intestine and find areas of inflammation in the small intestine that can help your doctor diagnose your IBD. Capsule endoscopy can also identify tumors in the small intestine that otherwise might be difficult to detect.

This is a safe procedure that carries few risks for adults or for children who are able to swallow the capsule. In most cases, the capsule leaves your body when you have a bowel movement later in the day or within several days.

How to prepare for a video capsule endoscopy

You doctor will help you to prepare for this procedure and let you know what to expect. For this procedure, you may be asked to:

  • Drink only clear liquids for 24 hours before the procedure and to skip breakfast. This will ensure that the camera captures clear images of your digestive tract.
  • Stop or delay taking certain medications that may interfere with the camera

You will be able to do most normal activities after swallowing the video capsule, however you should avoid strenuous exercise or heavy lifting after the procedure.

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