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Capsule Endoscopy

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

What do I need to know about a 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.

How do I prepare for my capsule endoscopy?

You may need medicine to help clean out your intestines or decrease air bubbles. Ask about directions for eating and drinking before your procedure.

What will happen during my capsule endoscopy?

  • 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.

What will happen after my capsule endoscopy?

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.

What are the risks of a capsule endoscopy?

  • 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.

Care Agreement

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. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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