What is capsule endoscopy?
Capsule endoscopy is a procedure that uses a pill-sized, wireless camera to allow your doctor to examine the inside of your small intestine which cannot be reached by a traditional upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. A capsule endoscopy is performed to search for a cause of bleeding from the small intestine or detecting polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers, and tumors.
Preparing for capsule endoscopy
An empty stomach will allow for the best results from a capsule endoscopy, so your doctor will instruct you to stop eating and drinking 12 hours prior to your procedure. The most important step is to talk to your doctor about any medical conditions you have, including swallowing disorders or heart and lung disease. Your doctor will provide you with full instructions on how to prepare for your capsule endoscopy.
What to expect during capsule endoscopy
Before the procedure begins, your doctor will apply a sensor device to your abdomen. You will then be instructed to swallow the capsule endoscope, and it will naturally pass through your digestive system while transmitting video images to a data recorder that will be worn on your belt for approximately eight hours. During this time, you can go about your day as normal, and after the eight hours are over, you will return to the office, and your doctor will remove the recorder and review the images.
After the capsule endoscopy, you will be able to drink clear liquids again after two hours and have a light meal after four hours. Your body will naturally expel the camera after a few hours or a few days depending on your digestive patterns.