What is a wireless capsule endoscopy?
Patients who recieve the wireless capsule endoscopy procedure
are those with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, which is defined
as bleeding of unknown origin that persists or recurs after a
negative initial endoscopy (colonoscopy and/or upper
In many cases, the diagnosis may be difficult because bleeding
can often be slow and/or intermittent. Patients may experience
prolonged blood loss, leading to iron deficiency (anaemia) and a
feeling of tiredness. Another important indication is the diagnosis
and investigation of Crohn's disease.
What does this involve?
The procedure works with the patient swallowing a small capsule,
usually after an overnight fast. This capsule consists of a camera,
a light source and a wireless circuit for the acquisition and
transmission of signals.
As the capsule moves through the gastrointestinal tract, images
are transmitted to a data recorder worn on a belt outside the body.
These data are transferred to a computer for interpretation. The
capsule is then passed in the patient's stool and is not used
This procedure allows for the end-to-end visualisation of the
small bowel. However, the presence of a motility disorder or
stricture may preclude successful investigation.