Camera: When i went to see the... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust
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When i went to see the gastroenterologist privately nearly two weeks ago he said that he wants me to have a ct scan, a bone scan and another test where you swallow a teeny tiny little camera which records it's journey through the intestines I think. I can't help but think of the old film "inner space" I think it was called where they shrank a submarine full of doctors and injected it into a patient. πŸš€πŸš’ no submarine emojis!! Do I have to pick it out at the other end and take it to max spielman for developing? Only kidding folks, but has anyone had this test/ proceedure? It will be on the nhs as I don't have private medical insurance. Deb

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Sounds like and endoscopy, or more probably a gastroscopy.

They put a tube with a camera on the end down your throat and look at your oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum.

They are mostly looking for varices (like varicose veins) in your oesophagus.

These are caused by the blood pressure in your liver being too high, and it's something they'll monitor you for as it can be very dangerous if one bursts.

Luckily if they do find any they can be treated fairly easily while you are having the procedure.

As a procedure it's really not too bad. I usually have the numbing throat spray and the sedative. You might gag a few times but this is only normal, and they've seen it all before, so don't be embarrassed if you do.

The bone scan will be for bone density to see if you have osteoporosis, a common thing in patients with cirrhosis.

Hope that helps


Hi Deb,

A gastroscopy is a procedure where a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope is used to look inside the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and first part of the small intestine (duodenum).

It sounds like your gastroenterologist may want you to have a Capsule Endoscopy, this involves swallowing a small (the size of the large vitamin pill) capsule, which contains a colour camera, battery, light source and transmitter. The camera takes two pictures every second for eight hours, transmitting images to a data recorder about the size of a portable CD player that patients wear around the waist.

Capsule endoscopy assists in diagnosing gastrointestinal conditions in the small bowel such as: bleeding, malabsorption, chronic abdominal pain, and chronic diarrhoea. Once swallowed the camera moves naturally through the digestive tract. Approximately eight hours after ingesting the camera, patients can return to the Endoscopy Unit where the recording device is removed and the images are downloaded to a computer and evaluated. The Capsule is disposable and will be passed naturally in the bowel movement.

We would suggest that you think about contacting your gastroenterologist to clarify the kind of camera test they want you to have and make sure that you have all the instructions that you need for whichever procedure you are booked for.

Best wishes


in reply to Trust1

Thanks for your replies. I have already had a gastroscopy and colonoscopy. It's the capsule endoscopy that he wants me to have next.

in reply to GrandmaDylan

I would ask them if the capsule will be manned by little 'Gastronauts' 😁


I may be odd.. but enjoyed having mine. Im not joking either

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