Preparing for Capsule Endoscopy
How to prepare for capsule endoscopy (pill cam)
You should fast (no food or drinks) for 8 hours before undergoing capsule endoscopy. Diabetics should withhold their diabetic medication during the fasting period. If you take insulin, you may need to reduce the dose. Please discuss this with us. From 130pm the afternoon prior to the procedure you will be on a clear fluid diet with no solid food. Around 8pm you will take one sachet of picoprep to clean the small bowel. Strongly coloured foods and iron tablets should be avoided for 24 hours before the examination. Fasting is from midnight onwards.
On the day of your procedure, a harness, holding the data recorder for your pill cam, is worn for 8 hours after the capsule is swallowed.
- Gentle activity is encouraged while wearing the harness as this will aid the progress of the capsule.
- No fluids should be taken for 2 hours after the capsule is swallowed
- Solid food is not permitted to be eaten for 4 hours afterwards.
- Do not swallow chewing gum during the examination.
- A glass of water is permitted when swallowing the capsule and a substance called ‘simethicone’ is added to this to prevent ‘bubbles’ which can interfere with the picture transmitted by the capsule.
- Just prior to swallowing the capsule you will also take a tablet of metaclopromide (maxolon/pramin) which helps the capsule to leave the stomach. Please let us know if you are allergic to this medication prior and it will be avoided.
Eight hours after the capsule is swallowed, you will return to our offices to have the belt removed.
The information from the data recorder is downloaded onto a computer and the images are composed into a video to be examined by your doctor.
The capsule is single use only and does not need to be retrieved.
The capsule passes naturally in a stool within 1-3 days. Most patients are not aware it has passed.
The capsule can be safely flushed down the toilet.