Capsule endoscopy uses a pill-sized camera to visually examine the midsection of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes portions of the small intestine.
How Is a Capsule Endoscopy Performed?
Capsule endoscopy is a process in which a little capsule the size of a large vitamin pill is swallowed. A tiny wireless camera is embedded within the capsule, which snaps photographs as it goes through the small intestine. Images are relayed to a recording device attached to a waistband. This recording gadget captures the images for later review and interpretation by a specialist. Before undergoing capsule endoscopy, you may need to take a laxative. Depending on whether you have a morning or afternoon appointment, you will also be given fasting instructions for the day before and/or the day of the surgery.
Adhesive sensors will be applied to your abdomen before the surgery, which will take place in our Medical Procedures Unit, and the recording equipment will be linked to your waist using a belt. After that, you’ll be given a glass of water to drink to assist you to take the pill. The capsule will not be felt traveling through your digestive tract.
If you have a morning appointment: Depending on your medical history, we may ask that you remain on-site during the entire test. After about 8 hours, the adhesive sensors and recorder will be removed, and you will then be discharged immediately.
If you have an afternoon appointment: After you swallow the capsule you may leave the facility, but you will wear the adhesive sensors and recording device for the rest of the day and through the night. For equipment return, you will either come back the next morning by 8 am, or we may be able to make arrangements for the equipment to be mailed back.
During the test: After swallowing the capsule, you may drink clear liquids and take your medications after 2 hours, and you may eat after 4 hours. Avoid MRI studies, ham radios, and metal detectors. No strenuous physical activity is allowed. Keep all the equipment dry; do not shower, bathe, or swim.
Why Do I Need a Capsule Endoscopy?
Capsule endoscopies help your doctor rule out possible conditions or make a diagnosis for issues such as:
- Early signs of gastrointestinal cancer
- Abdominal pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Unexplained bleeding
What Are the Potential Complications from a Capsule Endoscopy?
Capsule endoscopy is usually considered to be a highly safe procedure. Bowel blockage is a very unusual problem (if the capsule becomes stuck in a narrow passage). After a capsule endoscopy, if you experience bloating, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, or difficulty swallowing, call your doctor as directed on your discharge papers.
What Happens After the Capsule Endoscopy?
Remove the adhesive sensors and recording device after the procedure is completed. The capsule does not need to be retrieved or saved (you may not even notice it passing). It’s safe to flush it down the toilet. Following the exam, you can resume your normal activities and medications. In about a week, the results will be submitted to the doctor who ordered your operation. For the next 30 days, avoid getting an MRI.
This test is not covered by all insurance providers. It’s possible that you’ll have to verify with your individual insurance company to see if this is a covered benefit.