For a printable PDF of these instructions, click here.
(*patients must arrive 1 hour before scheduled procedures)
You have been referred by your doctor for a Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy procedure to better evaluate your gastrointestinal tract. This test involves ingesting a “Pill-Cam” which will take pictures of your small bowel.
To ensure a more accurate test we ask that you drink a bowel cleanser the evening prior to your examination. In order to obtain optimal visualization during the exam please follow our instructions carefully.
Week prior to examination:
- If you are taking iron supplements please stop them one week prior to your appointment.
- Please purchase a bottle of Miralax 238g and a package of Simethicone (Gas-X) from your local pharmacy.
- You may also want to pick up a 32-ounce bottle of a sports drink such as yellow Gatorade for the preparation.
Day before capsule endoscopy:
- You may have normal meals for breakfast and lunch.
- For dinner you can only have liquids (broth, buillion, clear fruit juices, soda, coffee or tea without milk or cream). Do not drink anything that is red or purple in color. Do not drink juice with pulp, dairy or soy products.
- At around 6 pm mix half of the bottle or Miralax (approximately 119 grams) with 32 ounces of fluid (such as yellow Gatorade or water). Drink 1 glass every 10 minutes until finished with the container. This should produce loose bowel movements to help clear the bowel for the procedure.
- Make sure to drink plenty of additional fluid throughout the day to stay hydrated and improve bowel cleansing.
- Do not eat, drink, chew gum or smoke after midnight.
Day of capsule endoscopy
- You may brush your teeth and rinse with water.
- Do not take your regular medications. But make sure to bring them with you to take 2 hours after the PillCam.
- Please take 2 tablets of Simethicone (Gas-X) about 30 minutes prior to your appointment.
- Arrive at our office at 9 AM. Wear loose fitting clothing, preferably a light cotton T-shirt.
- A recorder belt will be placed around your waist and connected to data recorder which is worn over your shoulder.
- You will then ingest the PillCam capsule.
After ingesting the PillCam capsule:
- Do not eat or drink for at least 2 hours.
- After 2 hours you may have liquids and take any medicines you missed.
- After 4 hours you may have a light lunch and continue drinking liquids throughout the day.
- Avoid any strenuous physical activity especially if it involves sweating and do not bend over or stoop for prolonged periods. However, do not remain immobile as this may slow down the transit of the capsule.
- Capsule endoscopy lasts approximately 8 hours. Do not disconnect the equipment or remove the belt at any time during this period.
- Since the Data Recorder is actually a small computer, it should be treated with utmost care and protection. Avoid sudden movement and banging of the Data Recorder.
- Return the Data Recorder to our office 8 hours after the start of the test.
- The PillCam is disposable and will be excreted in your bowel movement. You do not need to retrieve it.
- After the examination is completed you may return to your normal diet.
Things to look out for:
- Contact our office immediately if you suffer from any abdominal pain or vomiting during capsule endoscopy.
- After ingesting the PillCam capsule and until it is excreted, you should not be near any source of powerful electromagnetic fields such as one created near an MRI device or amateur (ham) radio.
- Occasionally, some images may be lost due to radio interference (e.g. from amateur radio transmitter, MRI, etc.). On rare occasions this may result in the need to repeat the examination.
- If you did not positively verify the excretion of the PillCam capsule from your body and you develop unexplained post procedure nausea, abdominal pain or vomiting, please contact us for evaluation.
- Undergoing an MRI while the capsule is inside your body may result in serious damage to your intestinal tract or abdominal cavity. If you did not positively verify the excretion of the PillCam from your body, you should contact your physician for evaluation and possible abdominal X-ray before undergoing an MRI examination.
Please do not hesitate to call us with any questions!