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Capsule Endoscopy



We are pleased to announce that we now offer oesophageal capsule endoscopy to view the oesosphagus (foodpipe or gullet) for those in whom a traditional upper GI endoscopy may not be appropriate. Please contact us for further information.


How does it work?

Capsule endoscopy (also called a ‘pillcam’) uses an electronic, pill-sized photographic capsule that takes pictures of the small bowel (a section of the digestive tract which cannot normally be viewed or examined confidently or non-invasively). It is approved for use by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and is considered by the British Society of Gastroenterology to be the first-line tool in the investigation of small bowel disease.  The capsule is swallowed like a tablet and can take up to 54,000 pictures over eight hours, imaging the entire small bowel. During this process you will be able to move around, walk or even leave the hospital. After roughly eight hours the equipment is removed and the results downloaded onto a computer workstation. You then pass the capsule in the usual way. The files are subsequently reviewed and a report complied. The results will be discussed at your next out-patient appointment.  

Dr Maiden offers an innovative, pain-free investigation at the Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Fordcombe, Kent.


Who is it for?

If you are often excessively tired you could be suffering from anaemia (low red blood cell count). A common cause of anaemia is bleeding within the gut. This maybe from the foodpipe, stomach, large bowel or small bowel. The bleeding may not always be obvious or visible so tests may need to be carried out to identify the cause. Once the cause is identified, corrective treatment of anaemia is generally successful

The capsule can help to identify the cause of anaemia, diagnose bowel conditions, or identify or exclude conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Pain, diarrhoea or constipation can be symptoms of underlying intestinal problems. Diseases, such as Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, can cause inflammation (or even ulceration) in your bowel. More serious diseases may also need to be ruled out – especially if you have visible bleeding from the back passage, which should never be ignored.

Clinical Guidance

This diagnostic facility is particularly beneficial to patients who display obscure bleeding that persists or recurs, as well as for detection of Crohn’s and Coeliac disease. It is a revolutionary pain-free device which enables us to see far more of the small intestine than ever more. Patients benefit as they no longer need to endure the discomfort of an endoscope, and we are able to offer a swift treatment programme. Please contact us for more details (see 'Contacts').