Video Capsule Endoscopy (Pillcam)

Procedure Questions

What is a Video Capsule Endoscopy?

Video Capsule Endoscopy is an examination of the middle part of the gastrointestinal tract that can’t be reached through traditional endoscopy or colonoscopy. The procedure uses a small camera, or Pillcam, to record images from inside your GI tract.

Procedure Bullet Points

Video Capsule Endoscopy (Pillcam) is:

  • very safe
  • administered in-office
  • recorded from home

Your doctor will have you ingest a small camera. The camera has its own light source and will take pictures as it works its way through your gastrointestinal tract. The pictures will be sent to a receiver which you’ll wear on your body. After at least 8 hours, you’ll return to your doctor’s office to return the receiver and they’ll review your results.

You may need a Video Capsule Endoscopy (Pillcam) to:

  • Search for causes of bleeding from the small intestine
  • Diagnose Crohn’s disease
  • Evaluate possible Celiac disease
  • Evaluate polyps, ulcers, tumors and other conditions

Your doctor may ask you to:

  • Restrict your diet
  • Stop certain medications

Inform your doctor of:

  • Any medication that you take regularly, especially;
    • aspirin products
    • arthritis medications
    • blood thinners (such as Warfarin or Heparin)
    • Clopidogrel
    • insulin
  • Any known allergies to medication
  • Any medical conditions that will require special attention, such as;
    • heart conditions
    • lung conditions
    • any other major conditions
  • If you have a pacemaker or implanted defibrillator.

It’s important to follow all of your doctor’s instructions.

You’ll be required to wear a wireless receiver, and your doctor may ask you to avoid strenuous activity. If you have a physically active job, ask your doctor before returning to work.

In some cases, patients with permanent pacemakers or defibrillators may be hospitalized during the procedure for electrocardiographic monitoring.

You’ll return to your doctor’s office after 8-12 hours to give back the receiver. You don’t need to recover the Pillcam and it can be safely flushed down the toilet. The camera may be expelled by your body within a few hours-a few days—everyone’s GI tract is different. If you don’t see the pillcam in the toilet within two weeks contact your doctor.

Do not have an MRI study for 30 days after ingesting the Pillcam.

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