Capsule Endoscopy FAQs


Can you eat during a capsule endoscopy?

Within 2 hours of your procedure, you can drink clear liquids. After 4 hours, you can eat a light meal. Our gastroenterologists recommend avoiding rigorous physical activity like running, jumping or exercise until the capsule passes. Speak with your Charleston GI specialist for more information.

How long does it take to pass a capsule endoscopy?

You should pass the capsule naturally after 8 to 72 hours. It sometimes can take up to two weeks. If the capsule has not passed within 2 weeks, an X-ray may be needed to see if it is still present or if a bowel obstruction has occurred. If you experience discomfort, contact Charleston GI.

What will happen if the capsule endoscopy gets stuck?

The medical term for this is called capsule retention. It is very rare and happens to about 1 out of every 1,000 patients. Normally, the capsule will pass within two weeks. If you happen to suffer from bowel obstruction, speak with your gastroenterologist for further intervention.

Will taking the capsule endoscopy be painful?

The capsule is very gentle, and any kind of discomfort is rare. However, if you experience unpleasant symptoms after your capsule endoscopy, simply contact your GI specialist for a resolution.

What is the difference between an upper endoscopy and a capsule endoscopy?

During your upper endoscopy, you will be placed on your side and your gastroenterologist will pass an endoscope through your mouth. The endoscope will travel through your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, without disrupting your breathing. Innovative technology even allows your GI specialist to insert instruments into the scope to collect a tissue sample if a polyp or abnormality is detected.

The capsule endoscopy procedure, in contrast, utilizes a pill-sized capsule camera. Once swallowed, the tiny camera travels through your digestive tract, transmitting images along the way. This gives your GI specialist a unique view that can be utilized to detect and diagnose any concerns.

How long will I need to wait for my capsule endoscopy prescription refill?

Please allow 24 to 48 hours for prescription refills.

Will my insurance cover my capsule endoscopy?

Every insurance plan carries different benefits depending on the employer. We are not able to inform you if your particular plan covers this benefit until we obtain your insurance information. We recommend you contact your specific insurance carrier prior to scheduling your procedure. Our billing office is also available at 843-793-5182 to answer your questions.

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