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Medicine Services

Capsule Endoscopy

Contact: (0191) 282 4918 - Sister Mandy Elsender, GI Specialist Nurse Practitioner

IntroductionShow [+]Hide [-]

This information has been produced to provide you with details about Capsule Endoscopy and aims to answer any questions that you may have. Please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff if you have any further questions or concerns.

What is Capsule Endoscopy?

Capsule Endoscopy enables your doctor to examine your entire small intestine. Your doctor will ask you to swallow a vitamin-pill sized video capsule which has its own camera and light source. During the 8 hour examination you will be free to move around. While the video capsule moves through your body it sends images to a data recorder that you will wear on a waist belt.

Most patients find the test comfortable. Afterwards your doctor will view the images on a video monitor.

What are the risks of Capsule Endoscopy?

Although complications may occur, they are rare. The capsule passes through your body and is eliminated in the usual way. If it does not pass, it is important to recognise the early signs of possible complications. If you have a fever, trouble swallowing or increasing chest or abdominal pain within five days after the test, tell your GP or hospital doctor immediately.

What are the benefits of Capsule Endoscopy?

The capsule is used to investigate anaemia and obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, usually when other methods have failed (gastroscopy, colonoscopy and enteroscopy). It can also be used to investigate chronic abdominal pain and diarrhoea. In certain chronic gastrointestinal diseases this method can also help to evaluate how your small intestine is involved or monitor the effect of treatment.

Before your procedureShow [+]Hide [-]

How do I prepare for the test?

You will receive preparation instructions before the examination. An empty stomach allows optimal viewing conditions, so you should follow the written instructions carefully.

Tell your doctor in advance about:

  • any medications you take, as you might need to adjust your usual dose for the examination
  • the presence of a pacemaker or any other implanted electro-medical device
  • previous abdominal surgery
  • swallowing problems
  • previous history of obstructions in the bowel

During your procedureShow [+]Hide [-]

What will happen when I arrive for my Capsule Endoscopy?

A nurse will prepare you for your examination by applying some adhesive pads to your abdomen and connecting these to some leads, which are then connected to the data recorder. The capsule endoscope is swallowed with water and passes naturally through the digestive tract while transmitting video images to the data recorder worn on a belt for approximately eight hours. You will be able to drink two hours after taking the capsule and eat after four hours.

After your procedureShow [+]Hide [-]

What happens after Capsule Endoscopy?

At the end of the procedure the pads, leads and data recorder will be removed. The test is then complete. The capsule is disposable and will be passed from your body naturally. You will not feel any pain or discomfort.

When will I know the result of the Capsule Endoscopy?

After the procedure is completed the doctor will process the information from the data recorder and will view a colour video of the pictures taken by the capsule. After the video has been reviewed you and your referring doctor will be contacted with the results.

More informationShow [+]Hide [-]

If you have any further questions or need any advice please do not hesitate to contact:

Dr M Gunn
Consultant Gastroenterologist
Telephone: (0191) 282 0135 (secretary)
9am to 4pm
Monday to Friday

Sister Mandy Elsender
GI Specialist Nurse Practitioner
Telephone: (0191) 282 4918
8am to 5pm
Monday to Friday

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