Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy

Instructions for your Capsule Endoscopy

Text Box:  A Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy involves the ingestion of a small (the size of a large vitamin pill) Pill Cam capsule which will pass naturally through your digestive system while taking pictures of the intestine.  The images are transmitted to a Sensor Array, a walkman-sized Data Recorder, which saves all of the images taken as the Pill Cam capsule passes through your digestive tract.  After 8 hours, please return to your physician’s office where they will remove the recording equipment.  The Pill Cam SB capsule is disposable and will be excreted naturally in your bowel movement.  In order for your physician to get the most accurate information from this examination, you will need to follow the instructions noted below.

One Week Prior to your Small Bowel Capsule

No Iron Pills or Multi-Vitamins with Iron

Day Before the Small Bowel Capsule

Begin a clear liquid diet at Noon, the day before your procedure.  No solid foods, milk or milk products. Clear liquids include: strained broths, bouillon, fruit flavored drinks, kool aid, crystal light, white grape juice, white cranberry juice, apple juice (no cider), black coffee, tea, jell-o, popsicles, ensure, and sports drinks.  NO milk products or sherbets.  AVOID anything red or purple in color.

Please don’t eat or drink anything after Midnight the day before your procedure.

No medications 2 hrs before to the exam. 
Special instructions:
- Iron or iron containing supplements, antacids, bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismal), and carafate which can coat small bowel and discolor stool - hold for 5-7 days (IV iron infusion is not a problem)
- No narcotics or medication that slow peristalsis.
- Do not stop anticoagulants (Plavix, Coumadin, Aspirin, Advil, Aleve, Ibuprofen, or Motrin).
- Diabetics – please consult your primary care physician for their input on adjusting your medication.

Male patients should shave their abdomen 6 inches (15cm) above and below the navel on the day of the examination.  If it is difficult for you to shave your abdomen, please contact your physician’s office.

    Day of your Small Bowel Capsule

    Arrive at your physician’s office at the prescribed time for your SB capsule Endoscopy dressed in loose fitting, two-piece clothing. Wear pants and a loose fitting shirt.  No lotion, power, or oil on abdomen.

    At your physician’s office, you will have a pre-procedure interview.  During this interview you should be informed that SB capsule Endoscopy is associated with a small chance of intestinal obstruction.  You will be checked-in and asked to give your informed consent.

    The sensor Array will be applied to your abdomen with adhesive pads and will connect to the Data Recorder which you will wear in a belt around your waist.  After that you will be instructed to ingest the Pill Cam SB capsule.

    You may drink clear liquids (water, apple juice) 2 hours after swallowing the capsule.  You may eat a light meal 4 hours after swallowing the capsule.  You may also take your medications at this time. 

    Do not exercise.  Avoid heavy lifting.  You may walk, sit, and lay down.  You can drive a car.  You may return to work, if your work allows avoiding unsuitable environments and/or physical movements. 

    Avoid going near MRI machines and radio transmitters.  You may use a computer, radio, stereo, or cell phone. 

    Do not stand directly next to another patient undergoing capsule Endoscopy. 

    Try not to touch the recorder or the sensor array leads.  Do not remove the sensor array leads.

    Avoid getting the data recorder or sensor array leads wet.

    You may loosen the belt to allow yourself to go to the bathroom.  Do not take the belt off. 

    Observe the LED light on the data recorder, every 15 minutes.  If the light stops blinking, document the time and call our office.

    Return to the office 8 hours following the ingestion of the capsule to have the monitoring equipment removed. 

    Please call our office if you have severe or persistent abdominal or chest pain, fever, difficulty swallowing, or if you have any questions.  Our phone number is (847) 247-0187.

One Week Post-Exam

Call our office, at (847) 247-0187, for your exam results.


No eating or drinking, after midnight, the night before your procedure.

If you have any problems or questions, please call our office at (847) 247-0187.