Capsule Endoscopy

Capsule Endoscopy (PillCam™)

What is a capsule endoscopy?
Capsule endoscopy is a procedure with a camera that sits inside vitamin-sized capsule.  The capsule is swallowed and travels through your digestive tract taking pictures that are transmitted to a recorder that you wear on your belt or waist.

Why is the capsule endoscopy procedure used?
If other imaging tests were unuseful or unclear your doctor may recommend a capsule endoscopy as a follow up to test for:

  • Gastrointestinal bleeding of the upper GI tract and small intestine
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Cancer of the upper GI tract and small intestine
  • Celiac disease
  • Polyps of the upper GI tract and small intestine

The camera capsule endoscopy does not evaluate the colon (large intestine).

How to prepare for your capsule endoscopy?
No eating at least 12 hours before your capsule endoscopy and stop taking certain medications.  Discuss all preparations for the procedure with your doctor or nursing staff. Be sure your doctor knows if you have a pacemaker, swallowing disorder, or stricture of the small bowel as these may be relative contraindications to routine capsule testing.

What happens after the capsule endoscopy?

  • 2 hours after-resume drinking clear liquids
  • 4 hours after-light lunch or snack
  • 8 hours after-or when you see the capsule in the toilet (which ever comes first), you don’t need to collect the capsule from the toilet it will safely flush.  However, follow your doctor’s instruction for packing the antenna and recorder.