Endoscopy Procedure (Digestive System)
is the test?
Capsule endoscopy is a noninvasive technology that enables physicians to
“see” the entire twenty-one-foot length of the small intestine. The capsule
endoscope is a large pill containing a color camera chip, a wide-angle lens,
illumination, and a radio transmitter. The patient takes the pill with a large
glass of water and for the next eight hours the camera snaps two images per
second as the capsule works its way through the digestive tract. Capsule
endoscopy helps identify diseases of the small intestine (such as obscure
bleeding, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease,
chronic diarrhea, and small bowel cancer), which are typically difficult to
diagnose using traditional imaging or endoscopic technologies.
How do I prepare?
You may consume nothing
after midnight on the night before the procedure. Some patients may be given a
laxative to take, as well.
What can I expect during the
You will be asked to check in early in the
morning at Outpatient Registration. Once you arrive in the Endoscopy
Department, a nurse will greet you, take your health history and blood
pressure, and answer any questions you have about the exam. You will be given
the capsule to swallow with a glass of water. The nurse will attach an 8-lead
sensor array, which is a group of taped-on latex-free sensors that are placed
strategically around your abdomen to record signaled images from the capsule.
The sensory array looks very much like EKG patches. You will also be asked to
wear a data recorder on an adjustable belt that goes around your waist, which
receives and stores images as you go about your day. Before leaving the
Endoscopy Department, the nurse will give you instructions including dietary
restrictions and activity guidelines.
You will return to the Endoscopy Department
eight hours later and your nurse will remove the sensors and the data recorder.
The capsule will continue to travel through the intestines, to be expelled
during a bowel movement and flushed away.
How and when will I get my test
The transmitter delivers over 50,000 images
during the 8-hour procedure. These images are downloaded into a computer so
that your gastroenterologist can review them. Test results from capsule endoscopy
are generally available within a week. The gastroenterologist will notify you
with the findings and will also send a copy of the report to your primary care
Where is the test performed?
Capsule endoscopy is available at Cayuga
Medical Center at 101 Dates Drive, off NYS Route 96 in Ithaca.