Capsule Endoscopy

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What is Capsule Endoscopy

A capsule endoscopy can be used to examine the lining of three small parts of the small intestine — the duodenum, jejunum and ileum — that cannot be reached with a conventional endoscopy or a colonoscopy.

The single-use capsule is about the size of a multivitamin pill and carries a camera, light and battery. After you swallow the capsule, the camera takes two to three pictures per second for up to 12 hours as it travels through your gastrointestinal tract.

The pictures are sent wirelessly to a small recording device you’ll wear throughout the procedure. The device saves the color photos, which are transferred to a computer and strung together to create a video. The capsule can be flushed down the toilet after you pass it. Your physician will be able to analyze the results a week or two after the procedure.

A capsule endoscopy most often is used to track down a source of bleeding in the small intestine. It also is used to detect polyps, tumors, ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease of the small intestine.

Board-certified and fellowship-trained gastroenterologists at Norton Healthcare are experienced using and analyzing the results from a capsule endoscopy for patients in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Working closely with Norton Cancer Institute, our gastroenterologists make sure you benefit from the viewpoints of multiple specialists.

Capsule Endoscopy Prep

Before you have a capsule endoscopy, your provider will go over instructions that you will need to follow in the days before your procedure. Following these instructions is essential to limit risks and provide the best results.

Your providers will collect a full medical history and list of medications you are taking, noting any drug allergies. It is important to tell your provider about any previous abdominal surgery or previous bowel obstructions or adhesions or a history of inflammatory bowel disease.

Your physician will prescribe a cleansing routine or prep that will include a liquid laxative taken the day before the procedure. Cleaning your bowels is the most important part of the procedure.

What to Expect During and After a Capsule Endoscopy

Usually, two hours after the ingesting the pill, you can drink clear liquids. Four hours after ingestion, you can have a light meal. You’ll have to avoid vigorous physical activity during the procedure. After about eight hours, the recording device can be returned.

The capsule holding the tiny camera is passed in your stool. It is disposable (can be flushed) and does not need to be collected or returned.

If you are unable to keep your appointment or need to reschedule, call our office at (502) 896-4711 at least 48 hours prior to your procedure.

If you are going to be late for your procedure, call the hospital’s endoscopy department. If you are scheduled at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital, call (502) 893-1277. If you are scheduled at Norton Brownsboro Hospital, call (502) 446-8200.

About Norton Healthcare Gastroenterology

  • Norton Cancer Institute has nine outpatient locations and multiple infusion centers in Louisville and surrounding counties and Southern Indiana. We have three radiation centers located just off major interstates, with free, self-service parking and valet parking.
  • Our gastrointestinal cancer patient navigator guides you through the treatment process. The navigator is a registered nurse and advocate for patients and families who can help coordinate scheduling to minimize your visits. The navigator provides information and support throughout your diagnosis, treatment and beyond.
  • The Norton Cancer Institute multidisciplinary approach to cancer care means you’ll have access to multiple specialists, including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, interventional radiologists, interventional gastroenterologists, researchers, geneticists and dietitians.
  • We pull together providers from various disciplines to help identify the best treatment for you. At Norton Cancer Institute review boards, you will be considered for innovative clinical trials, immunotherapy, minimally invasive procedures, state-of-the-art radiation and advanced diagnostics.

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