Using Video Capsule Endoscopy or Pill Cam to Diagnose GI Issues

By: Ohio State Wexner Medical Center

I'm also the director of video capsule endoscopy at Ohio State. Video capsule endoscopy is literally a pill cam that can take pictures of the intestine and areas that our normal scopes can't reach. We would do this procedure to look for obscure reasons for bleeding, weight loss or other malabsorptive conditions or to even follow Crohn's disease or other polyp syndromes. Preparation for video capsule endoscopy involves a little bit of bowel prep, about half as much as a colonoscopy and it's otherwise just swallowing a pill camera. There's no need for medications when you swallow the pill camera. The pill camera records for eight continuous hours. Most people pass the camera on their next day. You don't have to turn the camera in for us to get the footage.

While the pill camera is not a replacement for colonoscopy and upper endoscopy, it compliments these exams in sorting out where a patient might be bleeding or have other GI disease.

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