Papafragkakis
Charilaos Papafragkakis, MD
Gastroenterologist - Hepatologist

Capsule Endoscopy

The procedure involves ingestion of a capsule in the size of a large pill. The capsule contains a microscopic camera that will film the small intestine as well as part of the large intestine. The pictures are transmitted to a recording unit, which is placed around your waist. After about 8 hours, the recording is over. The capsule is disposable and will be expelled from your body naturally with the stool. Alternatively, there is a capsule that does not require the use of an external recording unit. You should collect it from your stool and bring it back after use for analysis.

In very rare cases and in certain diseases, the capsule is not excreted naturally. If this happens, the capsule may need to be removed endoscopically or with surgery.

It is essential for your doctor to know if you have a heart pacemaker or defibrillator, if you have problems with swallowing or if you are pregnant.

Before the capsule:

  • The day before the procedure, eat lunch and then start a liquid diet that is diet with only fluids. You can get any necessary medicines with water
  • Do not take medication two hours before the procedure
  • Do not smoke 24 hours before the procedure.
  • Wear loose clothing on the day of the capsule, preferably two pieces, e.g. shirt and trousers

After ingestion of the capsule:

  • For 2 hours, do not have food
  • After 3-4 hours, you may have a light snack
  • Contact us immediately if you feel abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting during the capsule
  • After ingestion of the capsule and until it is discharged from your body, stay away from sources of powerful electromagnetic fields such as radio. Sometimes some images may be lost due to radio interference
  • Do not have MRI while the capsule is still in your body. It is important to make sure that the capsule is no longer in your body before you have MRI
  • Capsule endoscopy lasts about 8 hours. Do not disconnect the equipment at any time during the 8 hours
  • Avoid sharp movements and impacts on the equipment
  • Every hour during the capsule, make sure the small light at the top of the device flashes twice per second. If the light does not blink at this rate, record the time of day and contact your doctor
  • Avoid intense physical activity
  • Do not bend excessively during capsule endoscopy.

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