Capsule Enteroscopy or Capsule Camera Study
of the Small Intestine
This is an exam of the small intestine of your digestive system. You will need to swallow a
small capsule that contains a camera with flash. The capsule is about the size of a multivitamin
pill. This capsule takes 75,000 to 80,000 pictures as it passes through the digestive tract. These
pictures will transmit to sensor pads that are placed on your belly. The images are stored in a
small device that is on a belt you will wear around your waist.
The visit to attach the sensor pads and swallow the capsule will take 30 minutes to an hour. You
are able to leave the hospital at this time. You will need to return at the time your nurse gives
you. The study takes 12 hours.
The capsule will pass out of your body in your bowel movement. You will not need to
retrieve the capsule. In the rare case that the capsule does not pass, it may need to be
removed endoscopically or surgically.
The capsule must be expelled before you can have an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
study. If you are unsure if you expelled the capsule, it can be easily checked by an x-ray.
The nurse will call to schedule your appointment.
Please tell the nurse if you have any of the following. Further instructions may be needed
for these conditions.
● Problems when you swallow
● If you have been told you have slow motility or slow gastric emptying
● If you take iron supplements
● Prior bowel surgery
To be sure good images are collected; use the following the instructions.
5-7 days before the study
Stop iron supplements and vitamins with iron.
The day before the study
1. After lunch the day before your exam, start a clear liquid diet. You may have Jell-O®
without fruit, soft drinks, coffee (without milk or creamer), water, or other clear
2. During the afternoon you will need to drink a half gallon (2 liters) of a gastric prep to
clean out the small bowel. This helps us to obtain the best pictures. Once you have
finished the prep, you may resume a clear liquid diet until 10:00 PM. You will want to
stay near a bathroom while you drink the gastric prep.
3. Do not eat or drink after 10:00 PM. You may have sips of water with your medicine, if
needed. You may take medicines up to 2 hours before your visit.
4. After swallowing the capsule, you must wait 4 hours to take any other medicines.
The day of the study
1. Wear 2-piece, loose fitting clothing, preferably a cotton shirt or undershirt.
2. Please refer to your cover sheet for the location of your appointment.
3. Check in at registration. The nurse will explain the equipment and process. The doctor
or nurse practitioner will also talk with you, obtain your consent, and answer questions
you may have.
4. The sensors will be applied and a belt will be fitted to carry the Data Recorder.
5. You will then swallow the capsule with 8 ounces of water.
After you swallow the capsule
1. After you swallow the capsule you must not eat or drink for 2 hours. Two hours after you
swallowed the capsule, you may have about 8 to12 ounces of “clear like water” liquids, for
example Sprite®, 7-Up®, or water.
2. Five hours after you swallow the capsule, you may have a light lunch. This may consist of
a small sandwich or a little soup and 8 to12 ounces of any fluids, including coffee or milk.
You may also take medicine at this time. After the exam is complete, you can return to
your normal diet.
3. You may have a light supper 4 hours after lunch.
4. Avoid any electromagnetic fields such as an MRI machine or amateur (ham) radio device.
Police or emergency radios may also cause problems with the capsule signal.
5. The Data Recorder is a small computer and is very fragile. You cannot bang the device or
get it wet.
6. Avoid bending or stooping to help maintain good contact of the sensors.
After you complete the capsule study
1. You will be told when to return to the clinic and how to remove the belt and patches. You
will need to return the Data Recorder and belt on time so that it will be ready for the next
2. Do not have an MRI unless the capsule has been expelled with a bowel movement. If
you do not see the capsule in the bowel movement, an x-ray should be done to confirm
that it passed out of your body.
3. Report any new belly pain, nausea, or vomiting to your doctor if the capsule has not passed.
You may need an x-ray exam.
Digestive Health Center, 8am to 5pm weekdays, (608) 890-5010.
After clinic hours, please call (608) 890-5010. Give your name and phone number with the
area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live outside of the Madison area, please call 1-855-342-9900.
UW Health Digestive Health Center
750 University Row
University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics
GI Procedure Clinic
600 Highland Avenue
Meriter Hospital Digestive Health Center
202 S. Park Street
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have
any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not
medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s
health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this
information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 03/2015 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and
Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6612