PillCam SB Capsule Endoscopy

capsule-endo-pic1A patient friendly method to visualize the small bowel

Your doctor may determine that a capsule endoscopy of the small bowel is necessary for further evaluation of your condition.  Capsule endoscopy will provide your doctor with pictures of your small intestine.

What is Capsule Endoscopy of the small bowel?

capsule-endo-pic3Capsule endoscopy enables your doctor to examine your entire small intestine.  Your doctor will have you ingest a video capsule that has its own camera and light source.  You can move freely during the exam, which lasts about eight hours.  While the video capsule travels through your body, it sends images to a data recorder you will wear close to your waist.  Afterwards, your doctor will view the images on a video monitor.

How should I prepare for the procedure?


You will receive preparation instructions before the examination.  An empty stomach allows optimal viewing conditions, so you should 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 a small bowel examination. Your doctor will tell you when to start fasting. Tell your doctor in advance about any medications you take as you might need to adjust your usual dose for the examination. Inform your doctor of your medical history, including if you have a pacemaker or other electromedical devices, any previous abdominal surgery, swallowing problem, or previous history of obstructions in the gastrointestinal tract.

What can I expect during Capsule Endoscopy?

capsule-endo-pic4The doctor or nurse will prepare you for the examination by placing a sensor belt around your abdomen.  The video capsule is swallowed with water and passes naturally through your digestive tract while transmitting video images to a data recorder that you will wear close to your waist.  You may have clear liquids for the first 2 hours after capsule ingestion and eat four hours after capsule ingestion, unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. The examination is over approximately eight hours after the capsule is ingested.

How will I know the results of the procedure?

After you return the equipment, your doctor will process the information from the data recorder and will view a color video of the pictures taken by the capsule.  After the doctor has looked at this video, you should be contacted with the results.