Home > Capsule Endoscopy

Capsule Endoscopy in New Jersey

The Digestive Health & Nutrition Center has two convenient locations in Lawrenceville and Princeton, New Jersey where you can receive the exceptional care you deserve. Angela Merlo, MD is an experienced Gastroenterologist and highly skilled in the advanced technology of video capsule endoscopy.  

What is Capsule Endoscopy?

Capsule endoscopy is really video capsule endoscopy also called wireless capsule endoscopy. Capsule endoscopy is an advanced non-invasive technology that provides Dr. Merlo with video images of areas of the small intestine that are difficult or impossible to visualize with traditional endoscopy methods. Capsule endoscopy cannot be used to diagnose problems of the stomach or colon. The technique is safe for adults as well as children over 2-years old. Patients ingest a capsule containing a video camera and wear a data recorder attached to a belt with sensors. The capsule is as easy to swallow as any vitamin pill. The camera takes high definition photographs as it travels through the small intestine. The photos are detected by the sensors and stored in the data recorder for later download and visualization by Dr. Merlo. Close examination of the photos allows Dr. Merlo to accurately diagnosis conditions of the small intestine. The video capsule passes normally with bowel movement and is not retrieved. The vast majority of patients feel absolutely normal during the examination.

What is the Purpose of Capsule Endoscopy?

The role of capsule endoscopy is continually expanding. When first introduced in 2001, the application was specific for identification of bleeding sites in the small intestine in patients with iron deficiency anemia. Currently, capsule endoscopy is used to assess the following:

What Can I Expect During Capsule Endoscopy?

Dr. Merlo has all necessary equipment for this procedure at the Digestive Health & Nutrition Center. It is best to start early and ingest the capsule by 9:00am. Dr. Merlo will tell you in advance what to do about your medications. Patients can perform most usual activities during the day of the test. You return to the Digestive Health & Nutrition Center at the end of the day to return the data recorder and sensor belt. Dr. Merlo can then process the information from the data recorder and view the high definition color video of the photos taken by the capsule. Dr. Merlo will contact you with the results usually within a few days. You cannot have an MRI examination until the capsule is excreted.

If you have symptoms suggesting disease of your small intestine contact the Digestive Health & Nutrition Center for an appointment. Dr. Merlo is highly skilled in performing and interpreting results of capsule endoscopy.