Capsule endoscopy is an effective procedure to visualize the small bowel. The procedure involves the patient swallowing the capsule, which travels naturally through the digestive tract and is then excreted. As the capsule passes through the digestive tract images are captured and sent wirelessly to a recording device, where the images are stores. During the procedure, the patient carries the recording device while going about normal daily life. After returning the recording device to the clinic, the physician will review the images.

Capsule endoscopy is a standard test for diagnosing disease of the small bowel. The procedure is non-invasive and requires no sedation.

The capsule is the size of a large vitamin pill (11mm x 24mm) and contains a colour camera, batteries and light source. The capsule captures images at three frames per second for at least 11 hours.

Intended for patients:

  • Iron deficiency anaemia and suspected obscure gastrointestinal bleeding

  • Diagnosis of early or suspected small bowel Crohn's Disease

  • Detection of benign or malignant small intestinal tumours

  • Abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea and weight loss

  • Suspeected mal-absorption disorder such as coeliac disease

NB: Subject to local regulations.

Not intended for patients with:

  • With known or suspected gastrointestinal tract obstructions, perforations, strictures or fistula

  • Who have difficulty swallowing

  • With slow or delayed digestion

  • Who are pregnant

  • With epilepsy, heart disease/pacemakers or defibrillators

  • With diverticulosis of the small bowel

Capsule endoscopy is a well-tolerated and safe procedure and side effects are rare. The main risk is capsule retention, which is estimated to occur in fewer than 0.75% of cases. In the rare instances when this occurs further medical treatment may be required. Discuss concerns with your physician.


Patient can have a normal meal around noon, followed by a clear liquid diet as instructed by the physician.


Fast for at least 12 hours prior to the examination. Only water may be ingested during the 12-hour period.

Laxative Preparation

Patient can have a normal meal around noon, followed by a clear liquid diet as instructed by the physician.

Note that the physician may recommend an alternative preparation procedure. Patients should stop taking iron supplements 1 week before the procedure and any other medication 2 hours prior to the procedure; as advised by the physician.

  • Wear comfortable and loose clothing and do not apply lotions or perfumes

  • Arrive at the hospital early in the morning for placement of sensor pads and injestion of the capsule

  • Drink 250mL of water per hour during the procedure

  • Four hours after ingesting the capsule, you may have a light lunch. You may have a normal meal 8 hours after the ingestion of the capsule

  • Return receiver to clinic at the specified time

Confirm excretion of the capsule and inform your physician. If unsure, an x-ray procedure may be required to confirm excretion of capsule.

The physician will review the images and contact you as required.