What is a Capsule Endoscopy?

Capsule endoscopy is a procedure designed to help your physician see what is happening inside parts of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract is the tube which extends from the mouth to the anus in which the movement of muscles digests food. During the procedure, a patient swallows a vitamin-sized pill with a camera inside. Transported smoothly and painlessly through the GI tract by the body’s own natural peristalsis, the video pill capsule transmits images of different parts of your intestine such as the small intestine and the esophagus.

Why is a Capsule Endoscopy done?

Capsule endoscopy helps your doctor evaluate the small intestine. This part of the bowel cannot be reached by traditional upper endoscopy or by colonoscopy. The most common reason for doing capsule endoscopy is to search for a cause of bleeding from the small intestine. It may also be useful for detecting polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease), ulcers, and tumors of the small intestine. Capsule endoscopy is the least invasive and most direct way for doctor’s to see the entire small intestine.

How should I Prepare for the Procedure?

Two days before your test, do not eat any fruits, nuts, vegetables, salads, seeds, berries or whole grains. The day before your capsule test, eat a regular breakfast and have a light lunch around 11:00am (examples of a light lunch include toast, bagel, cereal, etc….do not eat any fried or greasy foods). Remain on a clear liquid after lunch up to 10:00 pm. At 6:00pm, begin Halflytely prep, complete the whole container. Male patients should shave their abdomen 6 inches above the navel on the day of the exam.

The day of the capsule test, do not drink or eat anything the morning of your test except for your medications approved by the doctor, taken with a small sip of water.

  • Do not take any medications beginning 2 hours prior to your procedure.
  • Wear loose clothing
  • Test starts at 9:00 am. You may drive yourself, as you will not be sedated.
  • Once you leave the office/facility, you may resume light activities.
  • You can start to have liquids at 12 noon and then eat a light lunch at 2:00 pm
  • Return to the office/facility to take off sensors/vest off 4:30-4:45 pm the same day


After ingesting the capsule and until it is excreted (you may not see the capsule release) you should not be near an MRI device or schedule an MRI examination


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