Capsule Endoscopy | Wireless Pillcam Procedure

Capsule endoscopy

Capsule endoscopy also known as wireless capsule endoscopy and pillcam endoscopy is performed as a screening and diagnostic tool in our Beverly Hills office. 


What is Capsule Endoscopy?
Capsule Endoscopy is a new technology which allows your doctor to view and examine the gastrointestinal system. A Pillcam which is a pill sized video camera is swallowed and pictures are taken as the Pillcam moves down your mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. The pictures are simultaneously sent to a small video recorder which you hold or wear on your body via a belt. Your physician will then be able to review the pictures taken to diagnose and rule out tumors, ulcers, bleeds, gastritis, and other conditions.


Screening with capsule endoscopy 
This procedure can be used as a screening tool to visualize the esophagus, gastro-esophageal junction, stomach, small intestine and colon. Screening by the use of the pill camera provides patients an alternative to traditional endoscopy and colonoscopy. Capsule procedure can detect gastrointestinal tumors and help diagnose early esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer and more. Some conditions and symptoms do still require that you have a traditional upper endoscopy or colonoscopy to have performed.

capsule endoscopy beverly hills


Why is capsule endoscopy performed?


Capsule endoscopy is used as a screening tool and diagnostic tool to visualize the esophagus, stomach as well as the small intestine and colon. Patients who have gastrointestinal symptoms, GERD (Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease), Gastritis, Barrettes esophagus or need a screening colonoscopy or a screening endoscopy and do not want to undergo a traditional upper or lower endoscopy, use the Pillcam procedure as an alternative. The small intestine is difficult to reach with traditional upper endoscopy and colonoscopy and thus this procedure helps physicians rule out small intestine bleeding as well as to detect polyps, inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohns and Ulcertative Colitis, ulcers and gastrointestinal tumors.

capsule pillcam
Insurance reimbursement for capsule endoscopy


Like most new diagnostic procedures and technology, not all of the insurance companies are currently providing reimbursement for this procedure.


How should I prepare for wireless Pillcam procedure?


Your doctor will ask you not to drink or eat anything approximately twelve hours before your examination. This procedure is best performed on an empty stomach.


What can I expect during my capsule endoscopy procedure?


You will arrive at your doctor’s office on the day of your procedure. Your doctor will then attach sensors to your abdomen and chest. A video recording device will be given to you to hold or attached to your body via a belt worn around the body. A pill-sized capsule is then provided to you to be swallowed and passes naturally through you GI tract. Images taken by the pill-cam as it passes through your digestive tract is automatically sent to the video recorder where it will be saved to be viewed later by your physician.


What happens after I have the capsule endoscopy performed?


You will be able to drink clear liquids after approximately two hours and eat a light meal after four hours unless instructed not to by your physician. You will also be asked to not participate in physical activities such as running or jumping during your study. Your physician is generally able to go over your results within the week or sometimes within a few days.


What are the complications of capsule endoscopy?


Complications as a result of capsule endoscopy are for the most part rare. The potential for the capsule camera to be stuck in the digestive tract causing bowel obstruction exists.


What are some of the risk factors for stomach cancer?


Risk factors for stomach cancer include being a male, older age, certain ethnicities, infection with helicobacter pylori also known as H. Pylori, stomach lymphoma, certain diets, smoking history, obesity, pernicious anemia, type A blood, having a family history, and others.


What are some of the risk factors for colon cancer?


Risk factor for colon cancer include having a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, family history of colon cancer or adenomatous polyps, Familial adenomatous polyposis, Hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, MUTYH-associated polyposis, certain ethnic backgrounds, obesity, smoking, heavy alcohol use, and others.


About our Beverly Hills Medical Center


Beverly Hills is known for its swanky hotels, luxurious shops, famous restaurants as well as the medical care its doctors provide. Our concierge medicine practice provides the latest in screening and diagnostic testing equipment available. Please read more about our executive physical exams and executive health program and the latest in medical testing.