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Procedure for PillCam Small Bowel Endoscopy

Crohn's Mom

Since JJ is having his Pill Cam test today, I thought I would share here what the procedure was with others who may be wondering.
I'm going to type it up straight from the instruction sheet we were given.

Patient Instructions for PillCam Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy with the Sensor Belt

Day Before Capsule Endoscopy

1. After lunch on the day before the SB capsule endoscopy examination, start the liquid diet. Clear liquid diet consists of: water, broth, Sprite, 7-up, ginger ale, cola, jello, apple juice, coffee, tea, popsicles, Gatorade (NO red jello, drinks, or popsicles. No milk or creamer of any kind.)

2. At 2:00 pm, drink the laxative your physician has chosen for you. ( we did not have to do this step!)

3. Nothing by mouth after 8:00 pm the evening before your examination except for necessary medication with a sip of water.

Day of Capsule Endoscopy

1. Do not take any medication 2 hours before having the exam.
2. Wear upper garment of thin, natural fiber such as a T-shirt that is long enough to reach at least to hip level and will not ride up above the belt.
3. Arrive for your appointment at the scheduled time (8:00 am for us)

After Swallowing the PillCam SB Capsule
!!The capsule endoscopy procedure will last approximately 8-9 hours. Contact your doctor's office immediately if you suffer from any abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting during the procedure.

1. You may drink colorless liquids starting 2 hours after swallowing the PillCam SB capsule.
2. You may have a light snack 4 hours after ingestion. After the examination is completed, you may return to your normal diet.
3. Be sure the SensorBelt is tight at the waist. Do not attach anything to it.
4. Check the blue flashing DataRecorder light every 15 minutes to be sure it is blinking twice per second. If it stops blinking or changes color, note the time and contact your doctor.
5. Use the supplied Capsule Endoscopy Event Form, to note the time of any event such as eating, drinking, or a change in your activity. Return the completed Event Form to your doctor at the time you return the equipment.
6. Avoid strong electromagnetic fields such as MRI devices or ham radios after swallowing the capsule and until you pass it in a bowel movement.
7. Do not disconnect the equipment or completely remove the DataRecorder at any time during the procedure.
8. Treat the DataRecorder carefully. Avoid sudden movements and banging of the DataRecorder.

After Completing SB Capsule Endoscopy

Return to the doctor's office at the scheduled time to have the equipment removed.

Or: If instructed to remove the equipment at the end of the capsule endoscopy procedure, do the following:

1. Remove the SensorBelt and the DataRecorder and keep it in a safe place.
2. Return all the equipment to your doctor's office as soon as possible. Handle the DataRecorder and other equipment carefully without exposing them to shock, vibration or direct sunlight.

!! If you are not sure that the capsule has passed out of your body and you develop unexplained nausea, abdominal pain or vomiting, contact your doctor for evaluation.

!! Undergoing and MRI while the PillCam capsule is inside your body may result in damage to your intestinal tract or abdominal cavity. If you are not certain the capsule is out of your body, contact your physician for evaluation and possible abdominal X-ray before undergoing an MRI examination.


Well-known member
Yikes! Check the light every 15 minutes and make sure it is blinking so many times in so many seconds AND record every event.....Sounds like you will be busy! No wine for you! Well o.k. I guess it is during the day but just sayin...

Good luck with the test.

Crohn's Mom

LOL Crohnsinct, it's basically just a glance down at the light to make sure it's still blinking.
It's been a lazy day around here, and quite easy.
JJ swallowed the pill like a champ !
His only "issue" is the constant complaining that he's hungry ! :ytongue:

Thanks for another excuse to have some wine tho! :biggrin:
Thanks Crohn's Mom, that is great. Do you need another excuse for wine?
CIC we both narrowed in on the same thing check the light every 15 minutes... :ywow:


To save time...Ask Dusty!
I never know if I should hope it's all clear or hope they can find a reason for JJ's ongoing issues. Hopefully, it'll show the reason and it will be something easily treatable! Good luck T and JJ!!

Crohn's Mom

This is what the contraption looks like.
It was really simple, and he just hung out and played video games and watched tv all day while he wore it. ( 8 hours).
Didn't bother him a bit, and it's not uncomfortable.

Forget watching the light every 15 minutes...that's nothing. How about looking to make sure the pill cam passed! We never did find it!!! :ywow:
Is your GI reading the pill cam results or is he sending it to a reading service? We had a pill cam, well two pill cams, done at the end of December. The first camera never left the stomach in 8 hours!.. The doc scheduled her for an endoscopy and placed the second camera in her small intestine to ensure that it left the stomach. It was passed into the toilet in two hours.

I now want the data read by one of the companies that specializes in reading CE data, Vuespan or Accuread are two of the biggest. Research shows that like everything in life the more you do it the better you are. The best reads come from viewing more than 400 pill cam test and having at least six weeks of formal training. Gi's I think are hard press to find 45 minutes to an hour to look at 50,000 images for abnormalities.

I called our GI's office to request an outside reading and am waiting for the doctor to read his notes from the nurse.

I hope you get a good read and some answers to help your child.
We had a pill cam, well two pill cams, done at the end of December. The first camera never left the stomach in 8 hours!.. The doc scheduled her for an endoscopy and placed the second camera in her small intestine to ensure that it left the stomach.
Same thing happened to my son! ... you are the second member I read that posted this ... I wonder if this is more common than they realized. (He had a follow up gastric empty study that was normal.)

Crohn's Mom

So frustrated !

The nurse called and said the doctor read the results and the "only" thing she see's is some chronic inflammation and erosions in the stomach - but no signs of Crohn's in the small bowel.
While part of me knows this is "good" news - the other part of me knows this was there a year and a half ago when he had his scopes. Ugh!
Why is it acceptable for a child this age - with all of his ongoing symptoms - to have any inflammation or erosions ANYWHERE without an explanation?!?

The doctors on vacation this week so I can't even ask her what she thinks personally :(
Sorry Crohn's Mom that is good news that there is no sign in small bowel but so frustrating that it still leaves questions.
Hope the week goes by quickly so you can get some feedback from the doctor.


The thing that stick out to me is the use of the word chronic inflammation.

I don't think chronic inflammation should be ever be considered normal.


Holding It Together
Yeah, I agree with everyone, including you, CM, that it leaves too many unanswered questions. Your doc must be vacationing with mine...she's on vacation too.
Oh T! How I understand. Danny has "chronic" inflammation in his duodenum ... it is not considered normal ... but the cause (and treatment) is still a mystery to his doctors. I am interested in what your doctor advices. With JJ's sister having Crohn's, one would think as much investigation as possible should be done.
How can anyone brush over 'chronic inflammation'!! GRRRR makes me mad.

Hope you get things sorted soon, keep fighting xx

My son had this last December, the capsule got lodged in small intestine. After weeks of checking EVERY poop, having a weekly abdominal xray to see if it moved at all, and 2 partial obstructions, it had to be surgically removed. Yes, my Ben is the 1% if all patients to have the pill cam retained....:(
Because the camera was stuck in ulceration higher up in the small bowel, it never made it's way into the terminal ileum, where (as we know now) the stricture lies....