Instructions for capsule endoscopy

You are scheduled for a capsule endoscopy. This test requires you to swallow a capsule the size of a jellybean that will pass through your intestines while recording pictures and data. Pictures are transmitted to a recorder worn around your waist. The capsule will pass through and come out during a bowel movement.

If you have a pacemaker or defibulator, you should NOT have this test. If you do have such a device, call 916-734-5561 and ask to speak with a GI lab nurse.

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment for registration. If you are unable to keep your appointment, you must cancel at least 48 hours in advance or you will be referred back to your Primary Care Physician.

Purchase a 1.5 ounce bottle of "Fleets Phophosoda Prep" in advance at your local pharmacy; you will need it the day before the test.

On the day before the test:

  • Drink ONLY clear liquids such as water, black coffee, tea, broth, Gatorade, soda, clear juice with no pulp or residue (e.g. apple, pear or grape juice), Jell-O or any liquids you can see through that are NOT colored red. DO NOT EAT ANY SOLID FOODS FOR 24 HOURS BEFORE THE TEST.
  •  At 4 p.m. on the day before the test, drink one 1.5 ounce bottle of Fleets Phosphosoda. If you have any kidney problems, renal disease or congestive heart failure, do not use this prep.
  • After 7:30 p.m., do not drink anything. If you need to take medications, you may have a small sip of water to help you swallow them.
  • Do NOT smoke for 24 hours prior to the test.
  • Patients with lots of hair on their abdominal area should shave that area because wires must be taped securely to the skin during the test.

On the day of the test:

  • Do NOT eat or drink anything. Do NOT take any medications.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes. Women should not wear dresses.
  • After swallowing the capsule, you will need to return to the GI lab in 8 hours.
  • You will be expected to sign a form designating your responsibility to return the monitor on the same day of your appointment.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call the GI/Motility unit at 916-734-5561, Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.