Capsule Endoscopy (click for PDF)

Your doctor has determined that as part of your medical evaluation, you should undergo a test called Capsule Endoscopy. This procedure involves the ingestion of a capsule the size of a large vitamin pill, which will pass through your digestive tract while taking pictures. The images are transferred to a data recorder that you will wear around your waist. You will need to wear the equipment for 8 hours. The capsule is disposable and will be excreted in the stool. There is a rare risk of capsule retention and bowel obstruction from the capsule, which Dr. Zinkin will discuss with you ahead of the procedure.

  1. If you are taking an iron supplement, please stop taking it 5 days before the test.
  2. If you are diabetic, please ask Dr. Zinkin how to manage your diabetes medications.
  3. You can continue aspirin, plavix, and other blood thinners, unless otherwise instructed.

Capsule preparation

  1. On the day prior to the procedure:
    1. Have an early and light dinner around 5 PM – after this, you may have only clear liquids (nothing red).
    2. At 8 pm, drink 1 liter (32 oz) of the the Nulytely – this is roughly ΒΌ of the container
    3. Have nothing to eat or drink after midnight
  2. On the day of the procedure:
    1. Take your morning medications by 7 am
    2. 20 minutes before ingesting the capsule, take approximately 300 mg of simethicone (Gas-X, Mylicon) – this is best taken as either five 62.5 mg Gas-X softstrips with a small sip of water or 5 ml (1 tsp) of infant Mylicon drops.
  3. Arrive at Dr. Zinkin’s office at 8 am. Please wear loose fitting two-piece clothing. You will be asked to give informed consent.

Please do not wear body lotions or powders!

After ingesting the capsule:

  1. You can have clear liquids (juice, water, clear sodas) starting at 10:30 am
  2. You may have a light lunch at 12:30 pm
  3. Do not go near powerful magnetic fields such as one created by an MRI machine or amateur Ham Radio. It is OK to use a cell phone, computer, or microwave.
  4. Do not remove the equipment during the test.
  5. You should return to the office 8 hours after ingesting the capsule (usually around 4:15 pm)

After completing the test:

The capsule is generally excreted in the stool, but you may not see this. If you develop nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain, contact the office immediately. In addition, having an MRI while you have the capsule in your intestines can be dangerous. If you have an MRI shortly after the capsule endoscopy, you will need an x-ray of the abdomen to be sure the capsule has passed.