your procedure guide | small bowel capsule endoscopy (pill cam)
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Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for choosing the Atherton Endoscopy Center. Our goal is to provide you with the highest quality of care in a friendly environment. We always welcome your feedback regarding your experience at our facility.
About the Test:
Your physician has recommended that you should undergo an examination known as small bowel capsule endoscopy. This procedure involves ingesting a small (the size of a large vitamin pill) capsule which will pass naturally through your digestive system while taking pictures of the intestine. The images are transmitted to a data recorder, which is a walkman sized receiver which saves the images. You will be wearing a large belt around your waist and suspenders over your shoulders. After 8 hours you return to the Center and have the data recorder removed. The images will then be downloaded to a computer so that your physician can examine them. The capsule is disposable and will be excreted naturally with your bowel movement.
Five Days Prior to Your Procedure
Stop taking any Iron, Multi-vitamins with Iron, and Herbal Supplements.
Prior to Your Procedure
- Purchase a small bottle of Mylicon liquid (40 mg/0.6 mL concentration).
- Pick up your prescription of Colyte at the pharmacy.
- Do not use lotions or creams on your abdomen or lower chest the morning of your procedure.
- Male patients: if you have hair on your chest/abdomen, please shave from the level of your nipples down to your hips. This helps the adhesive sensors adhere to the skin.
- Please dress in loose, comfortable two piece clothing. A top with buttons that open in the front is ideal.
Two Days Prior to Your Procedure
- Add water to the bottle of Colyte as directed on the label and refrigerate overnight.
- Have the purchased bottle of Mylicon available
One of our nurses will be contacting you two days prior to your test to obtain your medical history and review your preparation instructions. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have at that time. Please make sure you tell the nurse if you have any of the following:
- Allergies to any medications or latex products
- Pacemaker, implantable defibrillator or neurostimulator
The nurse will ask you about the medications you take. Please let her/him know if you are taking, or have recently taken, any of the following medications:
- Previous Small Bowel surgeries or injuries
- Any swallowing difficulties
- Blood thinning medications
- Anti-arthritis medications
- Anti-seizure medications
- Chemotherapy treatments
- Diabetes medications such as Insulin or oral diabetes medications
- Herbal remedies
One Day Before Your Procudure
Important: Please be aware that the time you take your preparation may vary depending on the time of your procedure.
Please follow the instruction times given to you by your physician.
The Day of Your Procedure
- After 12 noon, you may not have any solid foods. You may drink only CLEAR LIQUIDS. Acceptable clear liquids include: coffee/teas with sweetener only, beef/chicken broth, apple juice, white grape or white cranberry juices, Gatorade, soda pop, popsicles, and Jell-O. Please no red or purple colors.
- At 7 PM, you will begin drinking only 2 liters of the Colyte solution over a 2 hour period of time. This is about 8 oz every 15 minutes. Save the remaining liquid for the next morning. You should place this back in the refrigerator. After Midnight, you may not have anything to eat or drink. Do NOT take your morning medications, unless instructed otherwise.
Do not take your morning medications unless otherwise instructed!
2 hours prior to your procedure drink 1 more liter of Colyte in the same fashion as above.
30 minutes prior to your procedure arrival time drink 10 cc (2 teaspoons) of the Mylicon liquid (40mg/0.6 ml) mixed with 8 ounces of water.
Please arrive at our center 30 minutes prior to your scheduled procedure time unless otherwise instructed. Expect to be at the Center for 30 minutes. When you arrive our receptionist will review your insurance and contact information with you. Please let her know of any changes.
Bring the following items with you:
- Your insurance card and driver's license or suitable ID card
- A list of all medications you are taking (or bring the bottles with you).
- Respiratory inhalers or insulin, if you use them
- Your consent form
Please do not apply any lotions or creams to your abdomen. Male patients should shave their abdomen from nipples to hip bones; this helps the adhesive sensors adhere to the skin. Please wear loose, comfortable two piece clothing. A top that has buttons in the front is ideal.
The nurse will bring you back to the admission area to get you ready for your test.
- She/he will review your medical history if this has not already been done.
- You will be signing a consent to have a Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy.
The nurse will apply 8 adhesive sensors to your abdomen and attach them to the data recorder that you will be wearing for the next 8 hours. You will swallow the capsule with a full glass of water. You may now leave and go about you usual daily activities.
Patient Instructions During Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy
Please call our office or your physician’s office directly if you experience any of the following symptoms: persistent chest pain or abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever or difficulty swallowing. We ask that you stay in the area (on the Peninsula) for the 8 hours the test is being performed.
- You may begin drinking clear liquids 2 hours after swallowing the capsule. You may eat a light meal 4 hours after swallowing the capsule. You may also take your medications at this time.
- Do not exercise and avoid heavy lifting. You may walk, sit or lie down. You may drive a car. It is fine to return to work if your work allows you to adhere to the above restrictions. Keep in mind that you will be wearing a fairly large belt and suspenders.
- Avoid going near MRI machines and radio transmitters. It is fine to use a cell phone, computer or radio. Do not stand next to another patient that is undergoing a capsule endoscopy.
- Do not get the sensor leads wet. Try not to touch the recorder or leads, and do not remove any of the leads.
- You may loosen the belt to use the restroom, but keep the suspenders on so that the recorder does not fall.
- Observe the LED light on the data recorder at least every 15 minutes. If the light stops blinking, call our office immediately; you will most likely have to return to our office.
- Return to the Atherton Endoscopy Center at the specified time (8 hours later) to have the unit removed; this should take no more than 10 minutes.