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WHAT IS A CAPSULE ENDOSCOPY, AND WHY DO WE DO IT?

PillCam SB is the most widely used tool for visualizing the small bowel to detect the presence of lesions and what may be the source of GI bleeding and iron deficiency anemia.   

A Small Camera Contained in a Vitamin-Sized Capsule


The PillCam SB is about the size of a standard vitamin (11 mm x 26 mm) and weighs less than four grams. The capsule contains a miniature video camera and is equipped with a light source on one end, batteries, a radio transmitter and antenna. After it is swallowed, the PillCam SB capsule transmits approximately 50,000 to 80,000 images over the course of an eight to twelve-hour period (about two images per second) to a data recording device attached to a belt worn around the patient’s waist or to sensor arrays on the patient’s chest. The small bowel images are then downloaded to a computer where a physician can review the images.  

A patient fasts for 10 hours prior to the procedure, then swallows the PillCam SB capsule with a glass of water. Images and data are acquired as the PillCam SB capsule passes through the digestive system over an 8-hour period. This information is transmitted via a PillCam sensor belt or array to the portable PillCam recorder attached to a belt worn around the patient's waist. Once the patient swallows the capsule, they can continue with their daily activities. After eight hours, they return to the physician’s office with the recorder so the images can be downloaded and reviewed by the physician


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