Dra. Ana Rita Herculano Gastroenterologist
Video capsule endoscopy is a non-invasive procedure that uses a small wireless camera to acquire photographs of the digestive tract.
The camera is inserted in a capsule the size of a pill that is swallowed by the patient.
As it passes through your intestine it takes several photographs of the digestive tract, that are then transmitted onto a recorder device that the patient has with him during the exam, allowing the images to be viewed in real time.
The patient can carry on normally with his daily activities, returning to the Endoscopy Department at the end of the day, to download the images onto specific high-quality software. The single-use capsule is eliminated in the stools one to two days later.
Since the introduction of the first endoscopic capsule in 2000, it has become an essential exam in the investigation and diagnosis of diseases of the small intestine, reaching places that other essential endoscopic exams do not reach (endoscopy and colonoscopy).
It is a simple and comfortable procedure for the patient and has become an essential examination performed on a large scale. It should not be used as a first-line exam or as a replacement for conventional endoscopic exams. However, due to the difficulty in accessing the entire small intestine, it has become the first-line examination for the investigation of obscure digestive haemorrhage, an important method of evaluation for Crohn's disease, small bowel tumours and surveillance of familial polyposis.
16, March 2021