Video Capsule Endoscopy

What is Video Capsule Endoscopy?

Video Capsule Endoscopy involves swallowing a small (the size of a large vitamin pill) capsule, which contains a colour video camera, battery, light source and transmitter. The camera takes two pictures every second for 8 hours, transmitting images to a data recorder that patients wear around the waist.

Once swallowed, the camera moves naturally through the digestive tract while patients carry out their normal activities. Approximately eight hours after ingesting the camera, patients return the recording device to the nurse so the images can be downloaded to a computer and evaluated. The video capsule endoscope is disposable and will be excreted naturally in your bowel movement.

Capsule endoscopy assists in diagnosing gastrointestinal conditions affecting the small bowel, such as obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, malabsorption, chronic abdominal pain and chronic diarrhoea. 

Day of the procedure

  • Arrive in St Mark’s Endoscopy between 8.00 a.m. and 8.30 a.m.
  • Admission and placement of sensor array and data recorder
  • Capsule swallowed with small amount of water
  • 2 hours after ingestion of capsule clear fluids can be started
  • A light snack may then be eaten approximately 4 hours after swallowing the capsule
  • 8 hours after the swallowing the capsule a normal diet may be resumed 

Patient Leaflets

Having a Small Bowel Video Capsule Endoscopy

Video Capsule Endoscopy Bowel Preparation Instructions for Moviprep

Patient Referrals

This information is for GPs and healthcare professionals only. St Mark’s Hospital is unable to accept self-referral. If you wish to refer a patient for an endoscopy please post or email a referral letter, this can be addressed to a named consultant if preferred.

Address: Consultant Endoscopist, St Mark’s Endoscopy, St Mark’s Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow HA1 3UJ
Tel: 020 8235 4136
Email: lnwh-tr.endoscopy@nhs.net