Capsule Endoscopy was invented only 12 years ago but is now a routine procedure with more than a million cases performed worldwide. A Capsule Endoscopy service was started at The London Clinic in 2006, and over 100 procedures are now performed each year.

What is capsule endoscopy?

Capsule Endoscopy is a pain-free investigation: by swallowing a pill-sized capsule containing a camera, the entire small intestine can be filmed. The capsule takes approximately 50,000 digital photographs which are transmitted to a data recorder worn on a waist-belt. 

The capsule passes through the small intestine in the normal way and is excreted in a bowel movement. As it is disposable, we do not need to retrieve it afterwards.

What are the benefits of a capsule endoscopy?

Capsule Endoscopy has fewer side effects than traditional small bowel investigations, x-rays, scans and surgical investigations.

Benefits include:

  • The capsule is small and easy to swallow
  • The procedure is painless and does not involve sedation
  • Additional investigations can be avoided because results are accurate

  • You can complete the 10-hour procedure at home after initial set up
  • You can walk around and carry out normal activities during the test

How can a capsule endoscopy help?

Capsule Endoscopy is an accurate diagnostic test for the following conditions of the small bowel:

  • Crohn’s and Caeliacs disease
  • Polyps or tumours
  • Bleeding in the small bowel causing iron-deficiency anaemia
  • Diagnose the cause of chronic diarrhoea and weight-loss
  • Clarify small bowel abnormalities seen on other investigations (CT or MRI scans, or barium follow-through tests)

When is a capsule endoscopy not suitable?

Capsule Endoscopy can be performed on patients with a heart pacemaker and other electro-medical devices, but they will need to be monitored in hospital for the day.

Capsule Endoscopy is a safe procedure, but in a few instances the procedure is not advisable:

  • Patients known to have a gastrointestinal blockage or tear
  • Patients with swallowing disorders. (However, the capsule can be placed into the small intestine by a doctor using an endoscope)
  • If the patient is pregnant

Making an enquiry

For more information about a private capsule endoscopy procedure at The London Clinic: