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Small Bowell Capsule Endoscopy

Your physician has determined that you should have an examination known as small bowel capsule endoscopy as part of your medical evaluation. This procedure involves ingesting a small capsule (the size of a large vitamin pill) that will pass naturally through your digestive system while taking pictures of the small intestine. The images are recorded by a data recorder and then transmitted to a computer, where they can be viewed. In the rare case that the capsule is not excreted naturally, it will need to be removed endoscopically or surgically. In order for your physician to get the most accurate information from this examination, you will need to tell the office all medications you take, if you have a cardiac pacemaker or implantable defibrillator, if you have had abdominal surgery and if you have trouble swallowing or a history of bowel obstruction.

Before capsule endoscopy

  1. Refrain from smoking 24 hours before undergoing capsule endoscopy.
  2. After lunch on the day before the capsule endoscopy examination, start the liquid diet your physician prescribed. From 8 p.m. the evening before the procedure, do not eat or drink except for necessary medication with a sip of water.
  3. Starting at 8 p.m. the night before the procedure, drink one-half gallon of NuLYTELY bowel prep solution or one bottle of magnesium citrate as prescribed by your physician.
  4. Beginning two hours before undergoing capsule endoscopy, do not take any medication.
  5. Male patients should shave the abdomen 6 inches above and below the navel on the day of the examination. If it is difficult for you to shave your abdomen, contact your physician’s office to arrange to have this done in advance.

Day of capsule endoscopy

  1. Arrive at our office at the scheduled time for your capsule endoscopy wearing loose-fitting, two-piece clothing.
  2. At our office, you will have a pre-procedure interview. You will be informed that capsule endoscopy has a small chance of causing an intestinal obstruction. You will be checked in and asked to give your informed consent.
  3. Small sensors will be attached to your abdomen with adhesive pads. The sensors are then connected to a data recorder worn around your waist. After that you will be instructed to ingest the capsule.
  4. You may leave the office and go about your day, but do not eat for two hours after ingesting the small bowel capsule.
  5. Bring the data recorder and other equipment to our office at 4:45 p.m. on the day of ingestion.

The images (approximately 57,000!) from your small intestine will then be downloaded onto a CD and given to your physician for interpretation.

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