Capsule Endoscopy is a new way of examining the small intestine. It does not replace gastroscopy or colonoscopy. In fact you currently require both a gastroscopy and colonoscopy before you qualify for a Medicare rebate for this service.
The procedure requires you to swallow a plastic jelly-bean sized capsule, and wear a belt attached to leads over your abdomen. The capsule passes naturally through the stomach and intestines, sending two pictures per second to a data recorder on the belt where the images are stored.
The procedure takes approximately 8 hours, after which the belt and the leads are removed. One of our specialists will review the images on a special computer, and send a report to your local doctor. The single-use capsule is passed in a bowel motion, usually within a few days.
For more information about Capsule Endoscopy at Gastrolab read the article:
Steps to follow:
01Obtain your doctor's referral
and book appointment:
Ph (03) 9331 3122
02Read through the information on this page
04Follow the instructions
on the day of the test
05Attend referring doctor
When Capsule Endoscopy could be dangerous:
- If you can’t swallow properly
- If you are pregnant
- If you have had a bowel obstruction
- If you have a pacemaker or implantable cardiac defibrillator
- If you need to have an MRI during the procedure time or for up to 7 days after the procedure
Preparing for the Capsule Endoscopy:
The day BEFORE your Capsule Endoscopy
- AFTER LUNCH : Start a liquid diet, consisting of approved clear fluids only. This means that you are not to have any solid foods or milk products after lunch. Please drink at least 10-20 glasses of clear fluids. See below a list of approved clear fluids.
- FROM Midnight: DO NOT eat OR drink anything except for necessary medication with a sip of water.
The day OF your Capsule Endoscopy:
DO NOT take medication within 2 hours of the Capsule Endoscopy examination appointment time.
Wear loose fitting, two piece clothing. You will need to wear a thin, natural fibre singlet or T-shirt over which the sensor belt is placed
The sensor belt will be connected to the data recorder that you will wear in a second belt secured around your waist.
Most people can then go home.
You MUST return to the hospital 8 hours after swallowing the capsule to have to equipment disconnected.
What to do after you have swallowed the capsule:
You have just swallowed the Capsule Endoscope.
This is what to expect over the next 8 hours.
Two hours after swallowing the capsule you may drink clear fluids only.
Four hours after swallowing the capsule you may eat a light meal eg. Sandwich.
During the 8 hour procedure:
Do not exercise. Avoid heavy lifting.
You may walk, sit, lie down or drive a car.
You may return to work, if it is in a suitable environment and does not require physical exertion.
Avoid going near MRI machines and radio transmitters.
You may use a computer, iPod, radio, stereo or mobile phone.
Do not stand directly next to another patient undergoing capsule endoscopy.
Try not to touch the recorder or the sensor belt.
Do not remove the sensor belt even if going to the toilet as it will lose images.
Avoid getting the data recorder or the sensor belt wet.
Check the LED light on the data recorder at least every 15 minutes. If the data recorder is functioning normally the light will be blinking blue. • If the light stops blinking or turns red, document the time and call Gastrolab on (03) 9331 3122 as soon as possible.
Please call us if you have any severe or persistent abdominal or chest pain, fever, difficulty swallowing or if you have any questions. The phone number is (03) 9331 3122
You will be given a time to return to have the equipment removed. The capsule itself is passed naturally in your stool and not recovered.
Please follow the schedule below to ensure the best possible result.
What to expect after your Capsule Endoscopy:
You have just had a Capsule Endoscopy. This sheet contains information about what to expect over the next 2 days. Please call Gastrolab (Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm) on telephone (03) 9331 3122 if you have severe or persistent abdominal or chest pain, fever, difficulty swallowing, or if you have any questions. In an emergency, go to your nearest Hospital Emergency Department and tell them that you have had a Capsule Endoscopy.
Over the next two days
Pain: Pain is uncommon following capsule endoscopy. Should you feel sharp or persistent pain, please contact us.
Nausea: Nausea is also uncommon. If it occurs, please contact us.
Diet: You may eat and drink normally. There are no dietary restrictions.
Activities: You may now resume normal activities, including exercise.
Medications: You may resume all medications immediately. Do not make up for doses you have missed, just begin your normal dosage.
Further testing: Until the capsule passes, further testing which includes any type of MRI should be avoided. If you have an MRI examination scheduled within the next 7 days, the MRI should be postponed.
The capsule: The capsule passes naturally in a bowel movement, typically within 1-3 days. Most likely, you will be unaware of it passing. It does not need to be retrieved and can safely be flushed down the toilet. Occasionally, the Capsule lights will still be flashing when it passes. Should you not see the capsule pass, contact Gastrolab to check whether or not you will need an abdominal x-ray to confirm that it has passed.
The Report: It can take at least a week for the report to be finalised. A copy will be sent to your referring doctor.
PLEASE NOTE: Contact number for capsule endoscopy is Ph: (03) 9331 3122