Capsule camera

From ArticleWorld

A capsule camera, also called an endoscopic capsule or video pill, is a specialized camera used in the study of the gastrointestinal tract. The camera itself is the size and shape of a pill. It is designed to overcome the limitations of upper and lower endoscopy.


The capsule camera is indicated in the evaluation of those who have documented gastrointestinal bleeding in the absence of a findable source. It can also detect the extent of Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory condition) of the small bowel. Any condition of the small bowel, such as tumors, injuries, malabsorption syndromes or chronic diarrhea can be evaluated by a capsule camera.

Disorders of the esophagus, including esophageal reflux can be evaluated using a capsule camera. Since the camera travels the length of the intestinal tract, the colon can be seen as well.


The individual being evaluated by the capsule camera first swallows the pill-shaped device and wears a wireless monitor that receives an image from the camera every half second. If the bowel is prepared properly and is free of fecal matter, the pictures are as clear as with regular endoscopy. The capsule travels the length of the small intestine in approximately 4 hours.


As the capsule camera is not controllable, a “second” or closer look at an anomaly is not possible. Unlike regular endoscopy, the ability of the capsule camera to do more than take pictures, such as the taking of biopsies in normal endoscopies, is not possible.