Patency Capsule at the Digestive Health Center
Patency testing involves swallowing a dissolvable capsule. If the capsule leaves the body before it dissolves,
your GI tract is passable or “patent” for an object the size of a capsule. The patency capsule has dissolvable
parts surrounding a tiny Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag that can be detected by X-ray. You will
return the following day not more than 30 hours after swallowing the capsule for an x-ray to confirm that the
patency capsule has passed through your small bowel.
Your doctor may ask you to stop certain medicines such as Calcium channel blockers or medicines that affect
gastric emptying for your testing. Before starting or stopping any medicine, please talk with your doctor who
prescribes your medicine.
Day before testing:
ξ After lunch, start a clear liquid diet.
Jell-O® without fruit
coffee/tea (without milk or creamer)
clear juice that does not contain pulp such as apple juice
ξ 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.
Day of test:
Your appointment will last about 30 minutes.
You will swallow the capsule with a glass of water. For 2 hours after swallowing the capsule you will not be
able to eat or drink anything.
ξ 2 hours post ingestion; you may drink liquids.
ξ 4 hours post ingestion; you may have a light lunch. This may be 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.
ξ 8 hours post ingestion; you may go back to your normal diet.
Day after the test:
ξ You will be given an appointment the day after the test to return to Digestive Health Center for an X-ray
to confirm that the capsule has passed.
ξ Report any new belly pain, nausea, or vomiting to your doctor if the capsule has not passed. You may
need an x-ray exam.
Do not have an MRI unless the capsule has passed with a bowel movement. If you do not see the capsule in
the bowel movement, you need to have an x-ray to make sure that it passed out of your body before any MRI
After your doctor has reviewed patency testing results you should expect more capsule studies to be ordered if
your GI tract proves to be patent. You will be given procedure instructions about more capsule studies at the
time of scheduling.
UW Health Digestive Health Center
750 University Row
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 © 11/2015
University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7848