Capsule Endoscopy

Pre-operation Preparation | Procedures | Post-examination Instructions | Possible Risks and Complications

Capsule Endoscopy is a procedure involves swallowing a small capsule that is able to transmit the images from the digestive tract wirelessly. The capsule is the size of a large pill which contains a wireless camera. Through the capsule, the doctor can visualize esophagus, stomach, proximal small bowel, and colon directly. There are three types of capsule available: oesophageal capsule, small bowel capsule and colon capsule. This procedure significant helps diagnose the gastrointestinal conditions that develop inside the digestive tract such as obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, inflammatory bowel disease, small-bowel polyps, neoplasia and celiac disease. In general, the capsule will be passed naturally during bowel elimination within 8 hours after the procedure.

Capsule endoscopy is a procedure that uses a tiny wireless camera to take pictures of your digestive tract. A capsule endoscopy camera sits inside a vitamin-size capsule you swallow. The capsule is swallowed by patients, and then it takes as many as 60,000 images before exiting the body. A sensor belt is strapped around a patient’s waist, with a data recorder in a pouch. This data recorder then stores all the images received by the sensors in real time.

Pre-operation Preparation

  • The procedures and possible complications will be explained by the doctor and a consent form must be signed prior to the procedure.
  • You should inform the doctor and nurse all your past medical history, previous surgical operations, current medication and any complication with drug.
  • Please stop taking iron tablets seven days before the procedure.
  • No food or drink six hours before operation.
  • An absolute clean colon is required.
  • Ensure that you need to follow the dietary instructions by nurse carefully according to the prescribed bowel preparation procedure.
  • Do not apply body lotion or powder on your chest; shave body hair on the chest, if any.
  • Do not apply lipstick or lip gloss which may affect the quality of imaging.
  • Wear loose fitting and preferably two-piece body clothing.
  • Arrive at the Endoscopy and Day Surgery Centre at the scheduled time above.


  • A belt with radio sensors are placed around your waist and the data recorder is attached;
  • Swallow the capsule with a mouthful of water;
  • Nurses will check the position of the capsule from time to time after you have swallowed the capsule;
  • You may receive medication according to doctor's prescription to speed up the capsule endoscope passage;
  • After about 4 hours, you may resume diet upon nurse's instruction;
  • You may resume daily activities upon nurse's instruction and return to the Endoscopy and Day Surgery Centre as scheduled;
  • Please check the blinking blue light every 15 minutes to ensure that it is blinking twice per second;
  • Please avoid strong magnetic field, sudden movement and banging of the data recorder, or disconnecting the equipment at any time during the procedure. These actions will affect the data collection.

Post-examination Instructions

  • You should avoid any powerful electromagnetic fields particularly MRI scans until the capsule has excreted.
  • If you develop unexplained nausea, abdominal pain or vomiting during the examination, please contact the doctor or nurse.
  • Capsule Endoscopy will be completed when the capsule is passed out from the body.
  • Please return to the Endoscopy and Day Surgery Centre as scheduled. The nurse will then take off the equipment and download the data.
  • A normal activities and diet can be resumed two hours after remove the sensor belt and data recorder

Advices on discharge

  • You should immediately return to the doctor or hospital for professional attention in the event of trouble swallowing, increasing chest or abdominal pain, vomiting, shivering or high fever over 38℃ or 100℉, etc.
  • Any follow-up consultations should be attended as scheduled.

Possible Risks and Complications

  • Retention of capsule ( rare)