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Capsule Endoscopy

A specially trained nurse places eight electrodes on the patient's abdomen. The electrodes are connected to a small computer or data recorder which is to be worn by the patient for 8 hours. The patient is then asked to swallow a capsule the approximate size of a large calcium tablet. The capsule has a camera within it that takes 2 pictures per second, averaging 50,000 pictures in an 8 hour time frame. The patient is then allowed to leave the Endoscopy Center and instructed to return in 8 hours for the removal of the electrodes and data recorder. The pictures are uploaded from the data recorder onto a special computer at the time of removal. The capsule travels the entire digestive system, but is used to evaluate the approximate 25 feet of small bowel, not the 5 feet of colon. The capsule is unable to evaluate the colon, therefore this is not a replacement for the colonoscopy procedure. The patient is not sedated for this procedure.The physician will then read the study and notify the patient of the results.If the patient has swallowing disorders, electronic devices in their body such as a pacemaker or history of bowel this procedure cannot be performed.

A full liquid diet consisting of any liquid other than red food products /liquids are to begin the day prior to the procedure. No solid food should be eaten from 12 noon the day prior to the test until instructed by the nurse in the Endoscopy Center. The patient is also asked not to drink or eat anything after 10 pm the night prior with the exception of needed medications with water. After 5 am, the patient is asked not to drink water or take medications but to remain strictly without food or drink. Male patients will be asked to shave their abdomen prior to arrival to the Endoscopy Center, if needed. Procedure time is usually 20 minutes. Absolutely no MRI's should be performed until the capsule has passed as confirmed during bowel movement or by x-ray.