Lonestar Gastroenterology

Our Services / Capsule Endoscopy

Capsule Endoscopy

If you have gastrointestinal problems and need to find the cause, the experts at Lone Star Gastroenterology (affiliated with Boston Scientific) in Austin, Texas, can help. Board-certified gastroenterologist Rajesh Mehta, MD, and his skilled staff offer noninvasive capsule endoscopy to diagnose your condition. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book one online today.

Capsule Endoscopy Q & A

What is capsule endoscopy?

Capsule endoscopy is a gastrointestinal procedure in which you swallow a tiny wireless camera inside of a vitamin-sized capsule. The camera takes pictures of the inside of your digestive tract, allowing your gastroenterologist to get an in-depth view to detect or rule out potential problems. The procedure is painless and noninvasive. 

Capsule endoscopy may allow your provider to avoid using a long flexible tube placed inside your rectum or down your throat. 

Why might I need a capsule endoscopy?

Your Lone Star Gastroenterology specialist could recommend a capsule endoscopy if they suspect you have:

  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Abnormal esophagus
  • Polyps
  • Enlarged veins
  • Other GI problems

Capsule endoscopy is also useful for follow-up testing if X-rays or other imaging tests are inconclusive.

How should I prepare for a capsule endoscopy?

Follow your gastroenterologist’s instructions to get ready for a capsule endoscopy. You’ll need to stop eating and drinking at least 12 hours before the scheduled procedure. You might need to take a laxative to flush out your intestine or avoid taking certain medications before your capsule endoscopy. 

What happens during the procedure?

Before the procedure, you may need to remove your shirt so that a specialist can place adhesive patches on your abdomen that attach to an antenna, wires, and a recorder. Plan to wear the recorder on a belt around your waist to collect images and data from the inside of your GI tract.

After the recorder is in place, you simply swallow a capsule containing a tiny camera. After swallowing the pill, you can’t feel it, and there’s no pain associated with a capsule endoscopy. You can go about your day, drive, and even head back to work in some cases. 

However, avoid running, jumping, and other strenuous activities. Wait two hours before drinking clear liquids and wait four hours to have a light meal or snack. The capsule endoscopy procedure is complete after about eight hours or when you see the camera capsule in your bowel movement.

What should I expect after a capsule endoscopy?

After a capsule endoscopy, you can remove the patches from your skin and the recorder from around your waist. Keep them and return these items to Long Star Gastroenterology at your next appointment. You don’t need to save the used capsule.

Your gastroenterologist reviews the results of your capsule endoscopy with you and lets you know if you need treatment or additional diagnostic testing.

To learn more about capsule endoscopy and find out if it’s right for you, call the Lone Star Gastroenterology office or schedule an appointment online today.