At LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, we believe in a “whole-body” approach to medicine. One of the best ways to identify and diagnose abdominal issues is through a procedure called capsule endoscopy, which involves the use of a tiny camera passing through the digestive tract and identifying any abnormal issues.
How to Prepare for Capsule Endoscopy
Capsule endoscopy is a procedure that uses a tiny wireless camera to study the small intestine. Located in a pill the size of a vitamin, the camera travels through a patient’s digestive system and takes pictures along the way, transferring the images to a recorder worn around a patient’s waist. Unlike a conventional endoscopy, a capsule endoscopy allows doctors to see much further inside the small intestine and provide comprehensive and proper treatment for any issues that are found.
Before undergoing a capsule endoscopy, patients will need to prepare for the procedure. In order to ensure the best results, patients are asked to perform the following preparations:
Generally drink only clear liquids
For 12 hours before a capsule endoscopy procedure, patients are asked to drink only clear liquids and to refrain from eating any food. This is done to ensure that the camera takes clear, unobstructed pictures of the digestive tract.
Stop taking iron tablets
Three to four days before capsule endoscopy is performed, patients should stop taking iron (or vitamins containing iron). Iron can interfere with the results of the capsule endoscopy, and can make passing the capsule harder than necessary. In addition, iron may stain the walls of the colon, which can easily be mistaken for bleeding.
Avoid strenuous exercise
After swallowing the capsule, it’s very important that patients do not participate in any heavy lifting or strenuous activities while the capsule is passing through the digestive tract. Unnecessary activities may interfere with the images taken by the capsule.
Be prepared to answer medical questions
Before undergoing capsule endoscopy, patients will need to inform doctors about their medical history, including any medications they may be taking. Also, our doctors will need to know if a patient has a pacemaker, has had a previous surgery in the abdomen, or any other medical conditions relevant to the procedure. These questions are important in determining the viability and effectiveness of a capsule endoscopy, which is why it’s important for a patient to answer these questions truthfully and honestly.
After swallowing the capsule, patients can perform regular, everyday activities with no side effects. After eight or twelve hours, the capsule will be passed through a patient’s bowel movements and can be flushed down the toilet. After returning to LA Integrative GI, we will look through the images found on the recording device and inform patients on anything found.
Schedule a Consultation at LA Integrative GI
If you are interested in undergoing a capsule endoscopy in Los Angeles, please contact LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition. Our unique “whole-body” approach to medicine ensures that we provide patients with a comprehensive treatment regimen for various parts of the body. Call us at (310) 289-8000 to schedule an appointment.