How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To prepare for your capsule endoscopy, your doctor is likely to ask that you:

  • Stop eating and drinking at least 12 hours before the procedure. This will ensure that the camera captures clear images of your digestive tract.
  • Stop or delay taking certain medications. To keep medication from interfering with the camera, your doctor might ask you not to take certain medications before the procedure. In other cases, your doctor will want you to take your medication two hours before or after you swallow the camera capsule that contains the camera.
  • Plan to take it easy for the day. In most cases, you'll be able to go about your day after you swallow the camera capsule. But you'll likely be asked not to do strenuous exercise or heavy lifting. If you have an active job, ask your doctor whether you can go back to work the day of your capsule endoscopy.

In some cases, your doctor may ask you to take a laxative before your capsule endoscopy to flush out your small intestine. This has been shown to improve the quality of the pictures collected by the capsule's camera.

Follow your doctor's instructions in preparing for your capsule endoscopy. Failure to follow the directions may mean your capsule endoscopy may need to be rescheduled.

Sept. 18, 2015