Video Capsule Endoscopy


A video capsule endoscopy, also known as a Pill Cam, is a painless examination in which a vitamin sized pill takes pictures as it travels along your digestive tract. Once swallowed, the pill follows the gastrointestinal tract and sends multiple pictures to a recording device. The capsule isn’t digestible and will be expelled through normal bowel movements. The capsules will not harm the environment or household plumbing.

Why do I need a video capsule endoscopy?

A video capsule endoscopy provides a more detailed look at the digestive system, and is typically used as a follow up to an X-ray. Your doctor will use the images to help make a better diagnoses and evaluation of varying conditions like GERD, diarrhea, polyps, internal bleeding, malabsorption, abdominal pain, tumors, and bowel function.

What should I do before a video capsule endoscopy?

You will need to have a completely empty stomach before ingesting the video capsule. Your physician will request that you do not eat for 6 to 12 hours before the test.

What happens after I take a video capsule endoscopy?

Wait two hours after you swallow the capsule to resume drinking clear liquids. After four hours, you can have a light meal unless your physician tells you otherwise. The video capsule isn’t digestible and should appear following a bowel movement. The video capsule isn’t harmful to the environment and you can flush it down the toilet.

Are there any risks of a video capsule endoscopy?

This is a safe procedure with few risks, however it’s possible that the pill can become lodged in the digestive tract rather than leaving the body in a bowel movement. Your physician will address any concerns you may have prior to the procedure.

Download this Video Capsule Endoscopy procedure information here.