Here is some information on the different types of endoscopic procedures we perform.
Capsule endoscopy allows us to get pictures of the entire small bowel without using an endoscope. It involves swallowing a pill about the size of a large jellybean in which is contained a tiny camera, a light and a transmitter. As it passes through the bowel it takes a picture approximately every second. These pictures are beamed back to receivers attached to the wall of your abdomen and are stored on a receiver that you carry around on a belt. When the capsule has passed through the bowel it is passed out along with the faeces; it is disposable and safe simply to flush away. It is unlikely that you will notice passing it.
As with all the tests we do, you will receive full information beforehand. In general, you will need to have a liquid diet for much of the day prior to the test, followed by an overnight fast. You then attend the hospital to have the sticky receiver pads attached to your abdomen. After swallowing the pill you will be able to leave although you should have nothing to eat or drink for a further 4 hours. At the end of the day you return to the hospital to give back the receiver. The images will be downloaded to be read by the doctor.
Sedation is not necessary except for the very small number of people who cannot swallow the capsule, when it can be introduced with an endoscopy.