Before the Procedure
You will receive specific instructions from your doctor before the examination. In most cases, the doctor will advise starting a liquid diet after lunch the day before the exam and nothing to eat after midnight the day of the exam. Your doctor will tell you when to start fasting. An empty stomach allows the best viewing conditions, so it is very important to follow these instructions.
Tell your doctor in advance of any medications you may need during the exam, especially insulin and hypoglycemics, as the doses may need to be adjusted or held. This includes prescribed, over the counter and herbal preparations. You should always consult your physician about holding any prescribed medications.
Also, you must tell your doctor if you have a pacemaker or other implanted electromedical devices (implanted defibrillators), previous abdominal surgery, swallowing problems or a history of bowel obstructions. Patients with pacemakers and/or implanted defibrillators may be admitted to the hospital as a day patient during this exam.
During the Procedure
After registering in the Endoscopy Unit, you will be brought to room where a nurse will prepare you for the test by applying adhesive electrodes to your abdomen that are attached to a data recorder which is worn on a belt around the waist. (You should wear loose clothing, like pants with an elastic waist.)
The capsule endoscope (Pillcam) is ingested with water and passes naturally through your digestive tract while transmitting video images to the data recorder for approximately 8 hours. You may resume normal activities during this exam and will be able to start drinking clear (not red) liquids after 2 hours. You may start eating 4 hours after the Pillcam is swallowed unless otherwise instructed by your physician. Written instructions will be reviewed and given to you before you leave the Endoscopy Unit.
After ingesting the capsule and until it is excreted, you should not have a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or be near an MRI machine.
After the Procedure
You will be told to return to the Endoscopy Unit in 8 hours to remove the data recorder and sensors. The capsule is disposable and will be passed naturally in your bowel movement. You should not have any discomfort during this procedure.
After you return the equipment, the information from the data recorder will be uploaded to a computer so your doctor can view the colored video. After the results are evaluated, you will be contacted with the results usually within threee days.