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

Michael Albertson, MD
Gastroenterology
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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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.