Central Lakes, Dunedin - South Otago, Southland, Waitaki > Public Hospital Services > Southern District Health Board (Southern DHB) >

Southern DHB Gastroenterology Services

Public Service, Gastroenterology & Hepatology (Liver)

Capsule Endoscopy or PillCam™

This procedure involves the patient swallowing a camera the size of a large medication pill in order to view the small intestine.  An external belt is worn that holds the equipment to record the images taken. Captured images are made into a movie that is reviewed later by a clinician.  The procedure is non-invasive and the camera passes out in the toilet within 48 hours. 

To prepare for a capsule endoscopy requires fasting for a few hours before the procedure and drinking some liquids to clean out the bowel.  Once the camera has been swallowed you can leave the unit and go to work or home for a few hours before returning to have the external equipment removed. There is a small risk of the camera not passing out in to the toilet and needing surgery to remove the capsule to prevent injury to the small intestine. 

This page was last updated at 10:01AM on March 15, 2021.