Capsule endoscopy provides an improved level of visual imaging for the diagnosis of diseases of the small bowel. The capsule endoscopy is a small video capsule that has its own camera and light source. The capsule is swallowed by the patient, and as it travels through the GI tract, it sends images to a data recorder that the patient wears around his or her waist. The data recorder is worn for approximately eight hours and then removed. All the images that are captured are downloaded to a computer and compiled to make a video that the physician will view. This procedure is noninvasive, does not require sedation and the patient is free to move about.
How Should I Prepare for a Capsule Endoscopy?
You should receive preparation instructions before the examination. An empty stomach allows optimal viewing, so you will need to start a liquid diet after lunch the day prior to the examination and have nothing to eat or drink including water for approximately 10 hours before the examination. It is important to tell your physician about any medication you take, as well as if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator, or you have had previous abdominal surgery or a history of bowel obstructions. An oral laxative may be prescribed the day before the procedure.