Capsule Endoscopy Specialist

Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C.

Gastroenterology & Hepatology located in Centreville, VA & Sterling, VA

A capsule endoscopy is a cutting-edge procedure your doctor uses to examine all sections of your digestive tract using only a tiny pill-sized camera. At Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C., with offices in Centreville, Sterling, and Chantilly, Virginia, experienced physicians including Lance Lasner, MD, and Nisha Chand, MD, offer capsule endoscopy using the most advanced techniques. Book your appointment online or call the office to schedule your capsule endoscopy today.

Capsule Endoscopy Q&A

What is capsule endoscopy?

Capsule endoscopy is a remarkable procedure in which you swallow a pill-sized endoscope that contains a tiny camera. The miniature camera moves through your digestive tract and records its journey, taking two images every second and gathering a total of about 55,000 pictures. 

The Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C. team then uses that information to identify problems in the three sections of your small intestine, including:

  • The duodenum: The start of your small intestine
  • The ileum: The end of your small intestine
  • The jejunum: The area between your duodenum and ileum

You can’t reach these parts of the small intestine using other types of imaging procedures like upper endoscopy or colonoscopy, so this procedure provides valuable information that no other procedure can.

When conditions can a capsule endoscopy help to diagnose?

The Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C. team might recommend a capsule endoscopy if you have symptoms such as small bowel (small intestine) bleeding, anemia, or unexpected weight loss. These symptoms could indicate a digestive disease or disorder, so some of the conditions that a capsule endoscopy can help to diagnose include:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Precancerous polyps in the small intestine
  • Small intestine tumors
  • Abnormal veins (varices) in the esophagus

In addition, a capsule endoscopy can help the team to monitor celiac disease if you’re already diagnosed with it. A capsule endoscopy can also be a screening or diagnostic tool for people who can’t have a colonoscopy for medical reasons. 

How does a capsule endoscopy procedure work?

Just as with other intestinal imaging tests, you need to fast to prepare your digestive system for the exam. The team providers you with detailed prep instructions ahead of your scheduled capsule endoscopy.

You’ll swallow the capsule in the Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C. office, under the close medical direction of the experienced team. The team attaches a data recorder to a belt that you wear around your waist. 

You can then go about your day after swallowing the capsule, following directions for eating and drinking according to the team’s recommendations. Usually, this includes no food or water for four hours and then a light snack such as chicken noodle soup.

After eight hours, you’ll return to Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C. with the data recorder so the team can analyze the information and make a diagnosis.

You’ll typically notice the capsule in your stool after about eight hours, but it could take a few days or longer. It’s safe to flush the capsule. 

Schedule your capsule endoscopy by calling Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C., or click the provided link to book your appointment now.