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Capsule Endoscopy


Capsule endoscopy is a procedure to take pictures of the inside of your small bowel (intestine). The pictures may show if you have growths, swelling, or bleeding areas in your intestine. You may need this procedure if you have symptoms such as blood in your bowel movements or chronic stomach pain.


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • Medicines help empty and clean out your intestines or decrease air bubbles.

During your procedure:

  • Small sensors will be taped to the skin on your abdomen and connected to a recorder. The sensors transfer the pictures of your small bowel to the recorder. The recorder will be attached to a belt that you wear during the procedure. You will be given the pill-sized capsule endoscope to swallow. The capsule will travel through your body the same way your food does and take 2 to 3 pictures every second.
  • You will be able to go home. Your healthcare provider will tell you when to return. Two hours after you swallow the capsule, you may be able to drink liquids and take medicines. Four hours after you swallow the capsule, you may also be able to eat a small meal. It will take up to 8 hours for the capsule to pass through your small bowel. Your healthcare provider will remove the sensors and recorder when the procedure is complete.

After your procedure:

The capsule will come out in your bowel movement within 2 days. You do not need to return the capsule. A healthcare provider will view the pictures of your small bowel and look for any problems.


  • You may have stomach pain during your procedure. The pictures taken by the capsule may not be clear. The pictures may not show the cause of your symptoms. You may need another endoscopy procedure. The capsule may get trapped in your body if your intestines are narrow or blocked. You may need surgery to remove the capsule.
  • Without the procedure, you may not learn the cause of your symptoms. Your symptoms may get worse. You may not get the treatment you need.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.