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BHG - Beverly Hills Gastroenterology

Wireless Capsule Endoscopy
(Capsule Endoscopy, Wireless Endoscopy, or Pillcam ESO)

What Is a Wireless Capsule Endoscopy?
Wireless Capsule Endoscopy is a procedure performed by a Gastroenterologist to examine the esophagus, or upper portion of your gastrointestinal tract. During the procedure your doctor will use a pill-sized video capsule to transmit high quality images of the inside lining of your gastrointestinal tract to a video monitor.


When Would I Need Wireless Capsule Endoscopy?
Wireless Capsule Endoscopy helps your doctor evaluate the esophagus without having to pass an endoscope or use sedation. Your physician may recommend Wireless Capsule Endoscopy to evaluate certain upper gastrointestinal symptoms such as heartburn or reflux, and to check for cancerous or precancerous conditions of the esophagus such as Barrett’s esophagus. Wireless Capsule Endoscopy is also used to evaluate patients with cirrhosis of the liver to see if they have varices (enlarged veins) within the esophagus, which can sometimes result in fatal bleeding.


How Do I Prepare for Wireless Capsule Endoscopy?

Our staff at bhg will give you detailed instructions in advance. Preparation for Wireless Capsule Endoscopy is safe and simple. You will be asked to fast for your procedure. Tell your doctor about any medical problems that you have, including swallowing disorders, the presence of a pacemaker, any previous history of bowel obstructions or abdominal surgery, and any history of inflammatory bowel disease. Bring a complete list of your allergies and medications, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbs, and supplements.


What Can I Expect During Wireless Capsule Endoscopy?

Our staff at bhg will prepare you for the procedure by attaching sensors to your abdomen and a data recorder to a belt worn around your waist. You will then be given the capsule to swallow with a glass of water. The capsule is the size of a vitamin and measures 11mm x 26 mm and weighs less than 4 grams. It contains an imaging device and a light source on both sides and transmits images at a rate of 18 images per second, generating more than 2,600 images as it passes down the esophagus.


What Happens After Wireless Capsule Endoscopy?

You will be able to eat a regular diet and resume your normal activities. The capsule, which is disposable, will pass naturally with a bowel movement, usually within 24 hours. Your images from the data recorder will be downloaded to a workstation where our physicians will review the images and generate your report. Patients are usually called within a few days with their test results.


What Are the Risks of Having Wireless Capsule Endoscopy?

While complications can occur, they are rare when a Board Certified Gastroenterologist who is specially trained and experienced performs the Wireless Capsule Endoscopy. Potential risks include complications from a possible obstruction. This usually results from a narrowing of the esophagus caused by inflammation, prior surgery, or a tumor.

Gastrointestinal disorders can be caused by or exacerbated by factors such as diet, stress, lifestyle, and genetics. After diagnosing your condition, we will help you understand the possible causes of your problems and educate you about nutrition and lifestyle changes that can help you feel better and remain healthy. We also provide genetic testing when applicable for patients and their family members.…Read more

We are continually strengthening our educational resources for patients and their families, as part of our strong commitment to our patient's health.…Read more

Call us today at 310.659.1300 to schedule an appointment.