A capsule endoscopy is used to view the digestive tract with a small camera in a vitamin-size capsule you swallow. As the capsule travels through your digestive tract, the camera takes pictures that are transmitted to a recorder you wear on a belt around your waist. Over the next eight hours, the camera transmits video images to the recorder while the capsule passes through your digestive tract.
- Take any morning medications at 6:00am with small sips of water
- Dress in loose-fitting, 2-piece clothing
- Other important food and medication restrictions must be followed before and after this procedure
What To Expect
When you arrive you will have a pre-procedure interview with a nurse. We will apply sensors to your abdomen and/or place a Velcro sensor belt around your waist. You then swallow the Pillcam capsule followed by 1-2 glasses of water. The capsule is the size of a large vitamin and is coated to make it easy to swallow. You can then go about your day, though your doctor may suggest some restrictions such as avoiding strenuous activity. You must not eat or drink for two hours after you swallow the capsule, but are then able to do the following, in chronological order:
- After 2 hours: Clear liquids and take medications
- After 4 hours: Light snack
- After 6 hours: Eat a normal meal
You will be given a specific time to return to our office, usually around 8 hours after you swallow the capsule. We will retrieve the data recorder from you. The capsule will pass with a bowel movement in the next couple of days.
This is a safe procedure with few risks, however, there is a small (1 in 200) risk of intestinal obstruction should the capsule become lodged in the digestive tract. If you don't see the capsule in the toilet within two weeks, contact your doctor.