What is the difference between an endoscopy and a capsule endoscopy?

Michael Albertson, MD
The difference between an endoscopy and a capsule endoscopy is the way in which each procedure is performed. In an endoscopy, a long thin tube with a camera on the end is passed into the body and produces images of the intestines on a monitor. The endoscope can also be used to perform a biopsy if necessary.
In a capsule endoscopy, you swallow a pill containing a miniature camera and then wear a special vest throughout the day that records images from the camera. If a biopsy is needed, however, it must be done in a separate procedure.

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