Wireless Capsule Endoscopy

Mature doctor explaining liver problems


Wireless Capsule Endoscopy

Wireless capsule endoscopy is a procedure that uses a swallowed video capsule to take photographs of the inside of the esophagus, stomach and small intestines.  The capsule has one or two video chips that wirelessly transmit thousands of pictures to a wireless recorder you wear around your waist.  At the end of the procedure, your doctor downloads the pictures into a computer for review.  Your body will expel the capsule, which can be flushed away without need for retrieval.

Why Have a Wireless Capsule Endoscopy?

This procedure is typically done to determine the cause of gastrointestinal bleeding or iron deficiency anemia of unclear etiology, aid in the diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and evaluation for cancer or celiac disease.  


Wireless Capsule Endoscopy Potential Risks and Complications

Wireless capsule endoscopy is a safe procedure with very few risks. However, it’s possible the capsule can become lodged in your digestive tract rather than leaving your body through a bowel movement. You should contact your doctor if the capsule does not pass from your body as expected. 

Your Saint John’s Physician Partners gastroenterologist will discuss the risks of a wireless capsule endoscopy with you so you can make an informed decision.

Smiling doctor


Preparing for a Wireless Capsule Endoscopy

To help clear your digestive tract for the procedure, your doctor will ask you to stop drinking and eating at least 12 hours before the procedure as well as take a laxative to flush out your small intestines.

What to Expect

What to Expect During a Wireless Capsule Endoscopy

During the Procedure

During the Wireless Capsule Endoscopy

On the day of procedure, the process will be reviewed with you and adhesive patches will be attached to your abdomen.  Each patch contains an antenna with wires that connect to the recorder around your waist.  Some devices don’t require patches.   

When the recorder is ready, you swallow the capsule with water.  The capsule has a slippery coating to make it easier to swallow.  You shouldn’t feel it once you swallow it.  Then you can about your daily routine with little restrictions such as avoiding strenuous activity. 

After the Procedure

After the Wireless Capsule Endoscopy

You can resume drinking clear liquids two hours after swallowing the capsule.  After 4 hours, you can have a light lunch or snack.  After 8 hours, the procedure is over after which you can then remove the , patches and remove the recorder to return to your doctor.   


Wireless Capsule Endoscopy Follow-Up 

The camera in the capsule takes thousands of color photos as it passes through your digestive tract, and the images saved on the recorder are transferred to a computer with special software that creates a video from the pictures for your doctor to view.  It may take a few days or longer to receive the results for your doctor to share with you.


Wireless Capsule Endoscopy Specialists

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404