Patient instructions for a capsule endoscopy

You have been scheduled for a capsule endoscopy procedure. There are certain illnesses that require this method to be used for the diagnosis. 

How the procedure is carried out

During the procedure you will need to swallow a 2 cm long capsule with water. As the capsule goes down in the small intestine it will take pictures of the digestive track. You will wear a vest with a portable image recording device which is going to capture the pictures taken internally. The capsule will exit the body with regular bowel movements. If for some reason the capsule does not exit naturally it will be removed either endoscopicly or surgically. Your doctor will analyze the images recorded. 

About 15 minutes after you have swallowed the capsule, the nurse will give you an injection that stimulates the movements of the capsule bowel from the stomach into the small intestine. After this you are allowed to go home. The equipment should be returned the following morning. You will be given all the necessary instructions the morning of the procedure. 

How to prepare for the procedure 

Please contact us if you suspect that you are pregnant. 

One week before the endoscopy 

Stop taking Iron (eg. Obsidan-Fe and Retafer) 

Two days before the endoscopy 

Stop taking 5-asa medication (eg. Asacol, Pentasa) 

The day before the procedure 

Only drink clear liquids such as water, mineral water, soft drinks, tee/coffee without milk, beef- fish and vegetable broth. After 10pm you are only allowed to drink water and to take necessary medications prescribed by your doctor.  

The day of the procedure 

You may take your regular prescribed medications at the latest 2 hours before the procedure. If you are a diabetic you should ask your doctor for precise instructions. 

Please wear comfortable loose fitting clothes. The belt and the receiver will be placed over your shirt and a loose fitting jacket can also be worn over the t-shirt. 

After you have swallowed the capsule, do not drink for 2 hours and do not eat for 4 hours. 

After about 2 hours you are allowed to drink clear liquids. After 4 hours you may consume a light meal. Your nurse will give you detailed information the morning of the procedure. 

During the procedure you should avoid physical activity, leaning forward and squatting. Also, be careful not to damage the image recording device. Keep the belt on at all times. The receiver should be removed and turned off after 12-hours have passed from the swallowing of the capsule. Strong magnetic fields for example amateur radio equipment can interfere with the image recording procedure. You may use your cell phone. 

Your nurse will give you a diary. You should record each time you eat and drink something. Also record any unusual sensations that you might have experienced. Please return the diary together with the belt and the image receiver to your nurse. 

After the capsule endoscopy

After completing the capsule endoscopy you may eat normally. It is common that you will not notice when the capsule has exited the digestive track. This usually takes place within 72 hours. If you have a scheduled appointment for a MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and you are unsure whether or not the capsule is still in your digestive track, please contact Aava Kamppi medical center or your personal physician. An abdominal examination and a possible abdominal MRI might be needed. If the endoscopic capsule is still in your body having a MRI can seriously damage your digestive track or abdominal cavity. 

If you experience sudden abdominal pain and/or vomiting within 72-hours from the capsule endoscopy please contact Aava Kamppi medical center “GastroLääkärit” or your personal physician. A possible abdominal examination and a MRI might have to be scheduled. If you experience any of the previous symptoms and “GastroLääkärit” is closed, contact your local emergency unit. 

For more information please contact: 

Aava Kamppi 
Annankatu 32 
tel 010 380 5312 Mon-Fri 9am to 3pm
Doctor Jari Koskenpato, tel 050 597 3351