Capsule Endoscopy (Eso Pill)


Capsule Endoscopy (Eso Pill)

One of the latest technologies used by Gastroenterology Associates is the Capsule Endoscopy, also known as an Eso Pill or one of many other names: Wireless Capsule Endoscopy (WCE), Video Capsule Endoscopy (VCE), small bowel endoscopy, capsule enteroscopy.

The Capsule Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure for evaluation of the small intestine.  It is a very simple and logical process:  1) the patient swallows a vitamin size capsule which houses a tiny camera inside; 2) as the capsule passes through the gastrointestinal system, it takes picture after picture (about 60,000 high quality color pictures).  The accuracy of capsule in detecting lesions is less than 0.1 mm. The pictures will be transferred to a receiver that is worn on a belt around the waist of the patient.   The camera usually works for 8-12 hours. The pictures have excellent resolution, especially if the patient follows the preparation and procedure rules; 3) all the pictures will be downloaded to the physician’s computer where they can review and analyze them; 4) the capsule will be passed by bowel movement in few days.  There is no need to collect it, as it is not needed, and it can be safely flushed down the toilet.  If you expel the camera in less than 8 hours, or you do not see it at all after two weeks, call the physician’s office.

The human digestive system is a long tube that runs from the mouth to the anus. An endoscopy and a colonoscopy are the two main diagnostic procedures that allow gastroenterologists to see throughout this tube. An endoscopy view covers from the mouth to the small intestine, and a colonoscopy, covers the entire large intestine. However, there is a part of small intestine that cannot be visualized by either of these two procedures.  A capsule endoscopy does cover this area, and is a perfect method to complete a full viewing of the human digestive system.

A Capsule Endoscopy can uncover many conditions, however, the most common ones are:

  • Occult gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis (UC)
  • Cancer, tumors and polyps with the location in small intestine
  • Celiac disease
  • Chronic abdominal pain
  • Anemia without any finding after endoscopy and colonoscopy, and unexplained weight loss….


The capsule endoscopy is a wonderful diagnostic tool, as the patient does not need any anesthesia or sedation, and no radiation is involved. The capsule does its work while you are going through your daily routine. The patient needs to be on liquid diet 24 hours before the test begins.   Nothing must be taken by mouth the morning of procedure so the camera can take clear pictures. Do not eat anything for 4 hours after swallowing capsule. You may have something liquid after 4 hours. Check with your physician about any daily medications, and if you should take them during this procedure.  Usually patients are allowed to take insulin and blood pressure pills. Avoid heavy exercise and tremendous high level activities for the 8 hours of WCE test. Avoid having any testing via an MRI machine or any high magnetic field.

The day of procedure patient comes to doctor office in fasting condition. The receiver will be connected to waist by a belt. The capsule-in the size of vitamin pills- will be swallowed by a glass of water. Patient then leaves and goes about their routine daily functions.  After approximately 8 hours, the patient returns to deliver the receiver. During the first 4-6 hours, no eating or drinking is allowed.  After that time period, the patient can have a clear liquid. Following the diet instructions is very important so that the physician has a clear picture.  Usually within 2 weeks the test results are finalized, and doctor will contact the patient with these results.

If the patient notices one of the following symptoms: vomiting, severe abdominal pain or passing of the capsule in less than 8 hours, the physician needs to be notified.

Complications from a capsule endoscopy are very rare.  The one that should be reported immediately is the retention of the capsule after two weeks.

This procedure is safe to perform during pregnancy, and with children who are able to swallow the camera pill. A capsule endoscopy cannot be performed on people with swallowing disorders, small bowel obstructions, or stenosis.

Our center utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to your healthcare, which means that patients benefit from the combined expertise of physicians who have the knowledge, perspective and experience to address all aspects of your complete gastroenterological care.

We offer the most advanced diagnostic techniques and treatments for a wide variety of gastroenterological conditions, including the Capsule Endoscopy.  We also offer a full range of diagnostic procedures, as well as medical, surgical and minimally invasive treatment options to meet the individual needs of patients with gastroenterological conditions of any kind.  Contact us if you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that have not yet been addressed by our physicians.


Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills
8631 W. 3rd Street, Suite 815E
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: 310-858-2224
Fax: 310-858-2225

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