Small Bowel Pill Enteroscopy (Pill Cam)

     The small intestine is the part of the gastrointestinal tract between the stomach and large intestine or colon.  It is about 20 feet long and is largely responsible for the absorption of nutrients from food that is ingested.  Due to its length the lining of the small intestine is difficult to visualize using standard endoscopy.  Small bowel pill enteroscopy is performed to examine the lining of the small intestine.  The most common reasons to perform this test are to try to identify bleeding sites in the small intestine and to evaluate patients with Crohn's disease.

     The test requires fasting prior to its performance.  A pill sized camera is swallowed.  As it travels through the gastrointestinal tract it takes thousands of images that are captured by a small computer.  These images can then be reviewed by your gastroenterologist.  The test is performed as an outpatient and is generally very safe.