Capsule Endoscopy "PillCam"

A Capsule Endoscopy or “PillCam” assists with ascertaining the cause for recurrent or persistent gastrointestinal symptoms; in most cases where other diagnostic procedures (such as a colonoscopy/gastroscopy) have failed to determine the cause.

Symptoms can include: abdominal pain, diarrhoea, bleeding & anaemia.

In certain chronic gastrointestinal (GI) diseases such as Crohn´s disease, a capsule endoscopy can help to evaluate the extent to which the small intestine has been affected, or to monitor the effects of therapy.


The PillCam (which is about the size of a vitamin tablet), is swallowed and passes naturally through the digestive tract while transmitting video images to a data recorder worn for approximately 8-12 hours.

The capsule is disposable and passes naturally with your bowel movement; usually between 24-72 hours post ingestion.

For patients with a suspected small bowel blockage, or narrowing, a patency test may be performed prior to undergoing the capsule endoscopy.

The need for the agile patency capsule will be assessed by A/Prof Henry Debinski and your referring doctor.

Please inform us prior to the procedure if you have any medical history of bowel obstructions, bowel cancer, diabetes, swallowing problems, cardiac pacemaker or any other implanted electro-medical devices.

Patients please note: Following your PillCam, you must wait at least 30 days before undergoing a Magnetic Resonance Imaging examination or be near a MRI or similarly high powered magnetic device.


10 days prior to procedure:

  • Cease all medications & multivitamins containing iron.

24 hours prior to procedure:

  • At 12:00pm, begin a clear fluid diet (no milk products or solid food).  Suggestions include: water, clear broth or strained noodle soup, coffee/tea (without milk), Gatorade®/Powerade® (not red or purple), carbonated soft drinks, sorbet and jelly.
  • At 8:00pm, begin fasting; nothing to eat or drink.  This includes medications.

Day of the procedure:

  • Wear loose fitting and comfortable clothing, such as an upper garment of thin, natural fibre cloth (eg a t-shirt) that is long enough to reach the hip level.
  • Following the appointment you may commence light exercise/activities.