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This is an exam of the small intestine. You will swallow a single-use capsule that contains a camera with flash. The capsule takes 75,000-80,000 pictures as it passes through the digestive tract. These pictures will be sent to a sensor belt. The images are stored in a small recorder attached to your belt. The data is then downloaded to a computer. Your doctor then can watch the video to evaluate your small intestine. The capsule will pass out of your body in a bowel movement. You will not need to save the capsule. 

One Week Before Testing 

Stop taking iron supplements or vitamins that contain iron. 

Day Before Testing

After lunch, start a clear liquid diet. 

  • Jell-O® without fruit

  • Soft drinks

  • Coffee/tea (without milk or creamer)

  • Water

  • Broth

  • Sports drinks

  • Clear juice that does not contain pulp 

Mix colon prep to regular strength per pharmacy directions. Do not concentrate the mixture. At 6:00 pm you will drink a half gallon (2 liters) of gastric prep. This will clean out your small bowel. Once you have finished drinking your prep, you may drink clear liquids until 10:00 pm. Drinking the prep should take 2-3 hours and you will want to stay near a bathroom. 

Do not eat or drink after 10:00 pm. You may have sips of water with your medicine, if needed. You may take medicines up to 2 hours before your visit. 

Day of Test

Your test will last about 30 minutes. You will want to wear 2-piece, loose-fitting clothes, like a cotton shirt or undershirt. 

First you are fitted with a sensor belt and recording device. You will swallow the capsule with a glass of water. Staff will review the diet restrictions for the rest of the 12-hour study period. You will not eat or drink anything during the first 2 hours. 

  • 2 hours post ingestion - you may have 8 to 12 ounces of clear liquids, such as Sprite®, 7-Up®, or water. 

  • 5 hours post ingestion - you may have a light lunch. This may be a small sandwich or a little soup and 8 to 12 ounces of any fluids, including coffee or milk. You may also take medicine at this time. 

  • 9 hours post ingestion - you may have another light meal and any drink. 

  • 12 hours post ingestion - study is complete and you may go back to your normal diet. 

After the Study

After 12 hours the study is complete. You will remove the recorder and sensor belt. You may go back to a normal diet and routine. 

On the next business day, you will return the recorder and belt. 

The capsule is not safe for an MRI. If you are unsure that the capsule has passed, you will need an x-ray before any MRI testing. 

Follow Up 

You will follow up with your doctor as planned after testing. Please allow 1-2 weeks for finished reports to be ready for your doctor to look over. 

When to Call

Report any new belly pain, nausea, or vomiting to your doctor if the capsule has not passed. You may need an x-ray exam. 

Who to Call

UW Health Digestive Health Center 

750 University Row 

Madison, WI 

(608) 890-5000 

(855) 342-9900 

University of Wisconsin Hospitals & Clinics

GI Procedure

600 Highland Avenue

Madison, WI 

(608) 263-8097

Meriter Hospital Digestive Health Center

Lower Level

202 S. Park Street

Madison, WI

(608) 417-6389

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.