WHAT IS A CAPSULE ENDOSCOPY?
Capsule Endoscopy involves swallowing a video capsule the size of a large antibiotic pill to examine the small bowel. The procedure is commonly undertaken if your doctor suspects that you have inflammation, ulceration or other abnormalities of the small bowel.
HOW AM I PREPARED?
It is essential that your stomach is empty during your procedure to ensure clear views, therefore you must be NIL BY MOUTH from 22:00 hours (10pm) the night before your capsule study. You should take your normal medications the night before with a sip of water.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS?
Barium study of the small bowel or Push Enteroscopy.
In some situations Barium tests are more useful than endoscopy, but for examination of the small bowel endoscopy is usually more sensitive and specific than a barium test.
The Push Enteroscopy does allow biopsies to be taken, but will only examine the first quarter of the small bowel. Capsule Endoscopy will usually examine the entire small bowel.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
Routine Capsule Endoscopy is extremely safe. The main complications of Capsule Endoscopy are;
The capsule getting stuck in the bowel if a narrowing is present (approximately 1 in 200). This is not always known before the procedure. If the capsule did get stuck you may require an operation.
The patient is unable to swallow the capsule or the capsule gets stuck in the oesophagus requiring endoscopic retrieval.
Prior to your Upper Endoscopy procedure you will be asked to provide us with a full medical history. It is particularly important that you advise us if you are;
Allergic or sensitive to any drug or other substance
Taking a blood thinning medication
WHAT HAPPENS ON THE DAY OF MY PROCEDURE?
A nurse will take your medical details to ensure you are correctly and safely prepared. This time gives you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding the procedure. You will be fitted with a belt, and asked to take a Maxalon tablet with water and Infacol. This Maxalon medication aids stomach emptying and the Infacol water reduces bubbles within your stomach. You will be asked to swallow the capsule with a mouthful of water.
Once you have swallowed the capsule you will remain nil by mouth for 2 hours. You will then be allowed to drink clear fluids such as water or cordial. 4 hours after swallowing the capsule you will be allowed to have lunch. You will be allowed home immediately after swallowing the capsule. You may remove the belt after 10-12 hours and return it the following day as early as possible after 8am and before 10am, to have the images processed.
HOW DO I GET THE RESULTS?
The results take a few hours to process and approximately 2 hours to view. The report will be sent to the referring doctor and a copy retained in your hospital notes. Normally your GP will discuss the results with you so you should make an appointment to see them. Please allow 1-2 weeks for your GP to obtain these results.