Capsule Endoscopy or Small Bowel Imaging is the use of a “vitamin-pill” sized capsule (which houses a tiny digital camera and light source) to obtain images of the small intestine. The small intestine is an area that is not easily visualized by either the Upper Endoscopy or the Colonoscopy. The capsule provides a complete endoscopic examination of the entire small bowel in a non-invasive way to help determine the cause for recurrent anemia, gastrointestinal bleeding(covert and overt), and other small bowel abnormalities.
During this test, you will wear a sensor belt that is able to capture images that the camera in the capsule transmits. Those images will then be recorded on a data recorder that you will wear throughout the 8 hour test. That 1st appt lasts approximately 30-45 minutes. Once the capsule is swallowed, and the equipment is initialized, you will be free to leave the clinic, instructed to keep the equipment dry, and not to do any strenuous activity. You will return 8 hours after the capsule is swallowed, at which time the equipment will be removed. The images from the data recorder will then be downloaded into a viewable video for physician review.
The capsule will be eliminated naturally within 24-48 hours. Note: No MRI exam should be scheduled until passage of camera capsule can be verified. The images from the data recorder will then be downloaded into a viewable video for physician review.
Some medications including sucralfate/carafate and oral iron may have to be stopped 5-7 days prior to the procedure.
Preparing for the Capsule Endoscopy the day before the procedure includes:
- Clear liquid diet following lunch.
- No food or liquid after 9:00 pm (any drugs normally taken at night can be taken with a sip of water)
On the day of the procedure:
- Report to the clinic at 7:00 am
- Do not eat, drink, or take any medications before your appointment.
- You will be able to have clear liquids 2 hours after swallowing the capsule which will continue throughout the test and a “one-time” meal 4 hours after swallowing the capsule.
- Return to the clinic 8 hours after swallowing capsule for disconnect.