December 10th 2007
Investigation of the small intestine or the esophagus with conventional diagnostic and imaging modalities can be challenging. Video capsule endoscopy is a relatively new and noninvasive technique that allows direct visualization of the small bowel or the esophagus and can obviate the need for or guide the use of more invasive procedures. The capsule contains a miniature camera that takes pictures of the lining of the small intestine or the esophagus. Unlike conventional diagnostic procedures, video capsule endoscopy can often successfully identify the source of the problem quickly and painlessly. It is also useful in assessing patients with a variety of other conditions affecting the small intestine or the esophagus, including Crohn's disease, celiac disease, tumors, reflux disease, esophagitis, and Barrett's esophagus.