What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

During capsule endoscopy

On the day of your capsule endoscopy, your health care team will review the procedure. You might be asked to remove your shirt so that adhesive patches can be attached to your abdomen. Each patch contains an antenna with wires that connect to a recorder. Some devices don't require the patches.

You wear the recorder on a special belt around your waist. The camera sends images to an antenna on your abdomen, which feeds the data to the recorder. The recorder collects and stores the images.

Once the recorder is connected and ready, you swallow the camera capsule with water. A slippery coating makes it easier to swallow. Once you swallow it, you shouldn't be able to feel it.

You'll then go about your day. You can drive, and you might be able to go to work, depending on your job. Your doctor will discuss restrictions, such as avoiding strenuous activity, such as running and jumping, with you.

After the capsule endoscopy

Wait two hours after you swallow the capsule to resume drinking clear liquids. After four hours, you can have a light lunch or a snack unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

The capsule endoscopy procedure is complete after eight hours or when you see the camera capsule in the toilet after a bowel movement, whichever comes first. Remove the patches and the recorder from your body, pack them in a bag and follow your doctor's instructions for returning the equipment. You can flush the camera capsule down the toilet.

Your body might expel the camera capsule within hours or after several days. Each person's digestive system is different. If you don't see the capsule in the toilet within two weeks, contact your doctor. Your doctor might order an X-ray to see if the capsule is still in your body.

Sept. 18, 2015