Capsule endoscopy


Small bowel capsule endoscopy is a non-invasive form of endoscopy. Capsule endoscopy provides excellent visualisation of the entire small intestine using a pill-sized capsule. The capsule contains a camera, light source, batteries and a radio-transmitter. The patient swallows a capsule and it takes 6 hours to go around the bowel. It is passed out in the stool. During the procedure the camera takes over 50 000 colour images and these are recorded on a data recorder which is worn on a belt around the patient’s waist. The photos are then analysed by the doctor

The small bowel capsule endoscopy is indicated for the following conditions:

  • Investigation of iron deficiency anaemia

  • Unidentified source of gastrointestinal bleeding

  • Known or suspected Crohn’s disease

  • Detection and assessment of small bowel tumours




For the test bowel preparation can vary at different centres. Some doctors recommend taking no bowel preparation, whilst others recommend taking some laxatives to help clear out the small bowel. You will come to the gastro unit to swallow the capsule. You can then go home whilst it is taking the pictures. You will return the belt after 24 hours.