Capsule Studies

Capsule Studies

What is Capsule Endoscopy?

This examination allows your doctor to examine your entire small bowel. You will ingest (swallow) a video capsule that has it's own camera. While the capsule travels through your bowel it sends images to a data recorder you will wear close to your waist. These images are transmitted to the recorder by leads worn on a belt around your waist.

How are you prepared?

You will receive preparation instructions before your examination. An empty stomach allows optimal viewing conditions so therefore you should not eat or drink for ten (10) hours prior to ingesting the capsule. You must cease taking any IRON tablets for 7 days prior to your examination. If you are taking any regular medication please consult with the doctor prior to your examination for advice regarding these.

What we do

The nurse or doctor will prepare you for the examination by fitting a sensor array belt around your abdomen. The video capsule is swallowed with water and passes naturally through your digestive tract while transmitting images to the data recorder you will wear close to your waist. You may then go home and will be asked to return to the surgery after approximately 8 hours for the belt and data recorder to be removed.

You will be allowed to drink colourless fluids 2 hours after ingesting the capsule, and progress to any fluids and a light snack 4 hours after ingesting the capsule. Any required medications may also be taken at this time.


After returning to the surgery, the images captured on the data recorder are then downloaded to a computer for the doctor to review.

The capsule should be passed within the 3 days following the examination - you may not be aware of passing it, as it should not cause any pain or discomfort. The capsule does not need to be retrieved.

Consult your doctor if you are concerned that the capsule has not been passed after 1 week.

After your doctor has reviewed the images of your small bowel you will be contacted with your results.

After ingesting the capsule and until it is passed you should not have an MRI scan or be around an MRI machine.


Although complications may occur, they are rare. A potential risk could be retention of the capsule so therefore if you experience increased abdominal discomfort, pain or nausea after ingesting the capsule, contact your doctor immediately.