PillCam Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy

This Patient Friendly Tool Detects And Monitors Abnormalities.

The PillCam is an easily swallowed video capsule with its own camera and light source, it transmits images of the small bowel to a data recorder that you wear for approximately 8 hours. Patients are instructed to fast approximately 10 hours prior to ingesting the vitamin sized PillCam. After you return the data recorder, the physician will review the color video and will contact you with the results. The PillCam will pass naturally through your digestive tract in 24 to 72 hours and is disposable. This patient-friendly is tool used for directly visualizing the small bowel to detect and monitor abnormalities. Risks such as capsule retention, aspiration, or skin irritation are rare.

What To Expect
  1. I’m dizzy or have a headache, what should I do?

    Dizziness and headache could be signs of low blood sugar. Drinking a regular carbonated beverage (not diet) or apple juice may alleviate these symptoms.

  2. What if I start to feel nauseated or start vomiting?

    Wait 15-30 minutes before continuing prep then start back slowly. You may also take a Benadryl to help control the nausea.

  3. What is the best “clear” liquid to take?

    Gatorade, which comes in many flavors, is an excellent choice as it contains electrolytes such as potassium. Avoid RED/BLUE liquids. We also recommend beef and chicken bouillon made from cubes (not broth).

  4. Why avoid red/blue liquids?

    The color can persist in the colon and make an accurate diagnosis more difficult.

  5. Is there any way that I can make the prep taste better?

    You can try sucking on hard candy (except red or blue), but no candy four hours prior to your procedure. You can rinse your mouth with water or a mouthwash. Do not eat or drink anything other than approved liquids while you are drinking the solution.

  6. I already have diarrhea before taking the prep, do I still have to take the laxative?

    Yes, you must take the prep as directed by your doctor. Your colon is approximately 6 feet long. The entire colon must be emptied for your physician to see the colon clearly.

  7. I am taking the prep and already have loose, watery stool; do I still need the rest of the prep?

    Yes, you may have solid stool higher in the colon that needs to be eliminated.

  8. I see yellow color in the toilet bowl and a few flecks, what do I do?

    If your last bowel movements were clear enough that you were able to see the bottom of the toilet you should be fine. It is ok if you have some flecks of material. The yellow color is a result of the bile that normally colors the feces. This shouldn’t interfere with the examination.

  9. My bottom is so sore. What can I do?

    To clean the area, avoid rubbing. Gently pat with a wet washcloth. Apply Vaseline, Preparation H, or Desitin liberally.

  10. Can I drink alcoholic beverages?

    We strongly suggest you do not drink any alcoholic beverages prior to your procedure since they can cause dehydration and some wines may thin your blood.

  11. Can I chew gum or suck candy?

    Yes, but nothing with soft centers or red color. No candy is allowed 4 hours prior to your procedure.

  12. I have been instructed not to take anti-inflammatories or blood thinners several days before the procedure. What can I take for headaches and pain relief?

    You may take Tylenol as directed.

  13. Can I have the PillCam done if I am having my menstrual period?

    Yes, the procedure can still be performed.

  14. Do I need a prescription for the laxatives?

    It depends on the preparation instructions you were given. Suprep is a prescription medication; Miralax does not require a prescription.

  1. What happens to the capsule after the images have been collected and the procedure is complete? How will I know that it has passed?

    The capsule passes naturally with a bowel movement, usually within 24 hours and without any discomfort. The capsule is disposable and does not need to be retrieved to collect the images from the procedure. The recorder light will begin flashing a white light after the PillCam is out of your system.

    If you are concerned that the capsule has not passed out of your body, please call the office. If it’s been seven days since you swallowed the PillCam, please call the office and we will schedule an x-ray. Please do not remove the alert bracelet until it has been positively identified that the capsule has passed. If the capsule has not passed in 7 days, call 864-232-7338 to schedule an x-ray.

  2. When will I hear the results?

    Please give us up to 2 weeks for results. This allows us time to have it read  and the ordering provider to be notified.

  3. Will the physician call me or do I have to come back for an appointment?

    One of our nursing staff (or possibly the provider) will call you with the results and any recommendations the physician may have. 

    We will be sharing the results with your primary care physician just as we do with all the care you receive here at Gastroenterology Associates, P.A.; it’s how we coordinate your care.

  4. Will my insurance pay for this? Is it considered as an experimental procedure or screening?

    Many insurance companies pay for the procedure, it all depends on your situation. Call our insurance department for assistance at 864-232-7338.