Video capsule endoscopy (PillCam)

What is PillCam?

PillCam is a type of endoscopy  performed wirelessly. A 10-27mm capsule, containing a tiny camera, batteries, light and transmitter, is swallowed and travels through the gastrointestinal tract.

Why do I need PillCam?

It is likely that you have unexplained abdominal issues, that may not have been explained by regular colonoscopy or endoscopy. It can examine parts of the small bowel that can’t be reached by colonoscopy or endoscopy.

How do I prepare for the procedure?

You will need to fast for approximately 8 hours before your procedure, and stop taking medications. You may need to be on a fluid diet from the day before, however your doctor will advise you.

What happens after swallowing a PillCam?

You will be fitted with a harness that holds the data recorder before swallowing the capsule. For 8 hours this will track the position of the capsule, and take around 60,000 hi-resolution pictures. You will not be allowed to drink for 2 hours after swallowing, or eat for around 4 hours after swallowing.

The capsule is single use and will pass naturally in 1-3 days. It can safely be flushed down the toilet.

What if I have more questions?

A number of doctors at SA Gastrointestinal Services are trained and experienced in video capsule endoscopy. If you currently see another gastroenterologist and need to undergo a procedure, you can be referred to one of the other doctors in our group.

Find out more about PillCam

To find out more about PillCam talk to one of our gastroenterologists today.