Video Capsule Endoscopy

Video capsule endoscope (VCE) is designed to capture and transmit images of the lining of the small bowel wirelessly. The capsule is increasing used in paediatric population in recent years. The capsule can either be swallowed in older children or introduced via a gastroscope in younger children. It is 24.5mm long and 10.8mm wide. It captures 3 pictures per second.

It is intended for assessing and visualisation of the small bowel mucosa as an adjunctive tool in the detection of abnormalities of the small bowel.

The indications for VCE are:

  • Obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (angioectasia, meckel’s diverticulum, NSAIDs)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Polyps (Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome, Familial adenomatous polyposis)
  • Intestinal lymphangiectasia

VCE is generally safe. However, there is a tiny risk (<1%) of capsule retention. This means the capsule stays in the bowel and does not pass spontaneously. In some cases, bowel surgery is needed to remove the capsule.