CAPSULE ENDOSCOPY INFORMATION

What is Capsule Endoscopy?

Capsule Endoscopy involves ingesting a small (the size of the large vitamin pill) capsule, which contains a colour camera, battery, light source and transmitter. The camera takes two pictures every second for eight hours, transmitting images to a data recorder about the size of a portable CD player that patients wear around the waist.

Capsule endoscopy assists in diagnosing gastrointestinal conditions such as obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, malabsorption, chronic abdominal pain, and chronic diarrhoea. 

Once swallowed the camera moves naturally through the digestive tract while patients carry out their normal activities. Approximately eight hours after ingesting the camera, patients return the recording device to their doctor or nurse so the images can be downloaded to a computer and evaluated. The Capsule endoscope is disposable and will be excreted naturally in your bowel movement. In the rare case that it will not be excreted naturally, it will need to be removed endoscopically or surgically.

Day before procedure

  • Normal breakfast and lunchtime meal then clear fluids until 10.00pm
  • Nothing by mouth from 10.00pm until the start of the test

Day of test

  • Arrive in the unit between 8.00am and 8.30am
  • Admission and placement of sensor array and data recorder
  • Capsule swallowed with small amount of water
  • 2 hours after ingestion of capsule clear fluids can be started
  • A light snack may then be eaten approximately 4 hours after swallowing the capsule
  • 8 hours after the swallowing the capsule a normal diet may be resumed

    St Mark's Hospital Wolson Unit for endoscopy
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