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What is capsule endoscopy?

Capsule endoscopy allows physicians to examine the lining of the small intestine. This part of the GI tract cannot be reached by traditional upper endoscopy or by colonoscopy.

Capsule endoscopy is offered as an in-office procedure. To begin the study, patients will swallow a pill-sized video camera. The camera has a light source and will take pictures of the small intestine as it passes through. Pictures are sent to a small recording device that’s worn on the body. These photos can help determine the cause of bleeding from the small intestine. It may also detect polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcers, and tumors of the small intestine.

Preparing for capsule endoscopy
  1. Seven days before procedure: Stop any iron medications.
  2. One day before procedure: You may eat a light breakfast and lunch. Pick up your bowel prep at the pharmacy.
  3. After lunch: Clear Liquid Diet until midnight.
  4. Day before procedure at 6:00 pm: Drink 2 liters of bowel preparation. Try to drink one 8 ounce glass every 10 to 20 minutes. Drink only 2 liters. If there is more prep, then you can discard it.
  5. After midnight: Nothing to eat or drink (except medications in step 6).
  6. Morning of procedure: If you take medicine for your heart and blood pressure, take these with a sip of water. You can resume your other medications after the procedure is complete.
  7. Go to your scheduled office location at 7:00 am to do the study. Capsule endoscopy is available at our Mooresville, Ballantyne, and Randolph Road offices.
  8. Two hours after insertion of the capsule: You may have clear liquids. No coffee or dark soda. No milk products.
  9. Four hours after insertion of the capsule: You may have a light meal.
  10. Return to the same office 7.5 hours after procedure.
Notes about the procedure:
  • You will not be sedated for the procedure so you may drive yourself to and from the appointment.
  • On the morning of the test you will have a brief interview and will be asked to sign informed consent. Capsule endoscopy is associated with a small risk of intestinal obstruction.
  • You do not need to recover the capsule from your stool.