Capsule endoscopy allows for the examination of the lining of the middle part of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the three portions of the small intestine – duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. This part of the bowel cannot be reached by traditional upper endoscopy or by colonoscopy.
As part of the diagnosis, the patient will be given a pill-sized video camera to swallow. This camera has its own light source and takes pictures of the small intestine as it passes through. The pictures are sent to a small recording device worn on the body. The resulting images might be able to provide useful information regarding the small intestine. This procedure effectively searches for a cause of bleeding from the small intestine, and may also be useful for detecting polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease), ulcers, and tumors of the small intestine.