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Prep for Capsule Endoscopy

The lining of the intestines must be free of any food or fluid in order to get a good look. The medication we use for this will cause your child to have diarrhea and may cause some mild cramping. The goal of the preparation is to have bowel movements that are watery without solid stool. Please contact us if the preparation does not produce this result – the test is only as good as the prep.

The day before the procedure start your child on a clear liquid diet. Clear liquids are any fluid that you can see through. Please do not offer any drink that is red, orange or purple. Examples of clear liquids – water, ginger ale, chicken broth (no chicken or noodles) apple juice, white grape juice, Pedialyte® and Jell-O.

Medications may be taken unless otherwise instructed.

Purchase the following medications used for the preparation ahead of time.

  • Dulcolax® (bisacodyl) is a laxative tablet that is available over the counter OR Ex-lax® chocolate square, another laxative available over the counter.
  • MiraLAX® (PEG 3350) is a tasteless white powder that can be mixed with any clear liquid. Purchase a 238 gram bottle. All of these medications are available over the counter at your pharmacy, Walmart or grocery store.

8:00 a.m. On the Day Before the Procedure

  • Children under 35 pounds - 1 chocolate Ex-lax square
  • Children 35-66 pounds - 1 Dulcolax tablet or 2 Ex-lax chocolate squares
  • Children over 66 pounds - 2 Dulcolax tablet or 4 Ex-lax chocolate squares

MiraLAX comes with a measuring cap. One capful (17 gms) is measured up to the line inside the cap. Mix the MiraLAX in a room temperature liquid until fully dissolved then chill.

  • Children under 35 pounds - Mix MiraLAX 4 capfuls in 18 ounces clear liquid
  • Children 35-66 pounds - Mix MiraLAX 7 capfuls (about half the bottle in 32 ounces of clear liquid)
  • Children over 66 pounds - Mix the entire MiraLAX bottle (about 14 capfuls in 64 ounces of clear liquid)

Starting 12 NOON the Day Before

  • Begin drinking the MiraLAX solution. Your child should finish half the solution within 3 hours.
  • At 5:00 p.m., begin drinking the other half, finishing it within 3 hours.
  • If your child is not passing loose to watery stools by this time, please call your physician.

Your child may have clear liquids up to 8 hours before the test.

In order to have a capsule endoscopy, your child must be able to swallow a large pill. Most children ages 10 and up, and some children who are younger, are able to have a capsule endoscopy. If your child is unable to swallow a pill, the capsule must be placed through a traditional endoscopy which requires general anesthesia. You will be told what method the capsule will be ingested. Please have your child wear comfortable clothing.

Once the test has begun, your child may leave the hospital and participate in regular activities being careful not to get the recorder wet or damaged by strenuous activities. 2 hours after ingesting the PillCam your child may have clear liquids, 4 hours after ingesting, they may have a light meal.

The belt can be removed in 8 hours and placed in the suitcase along with the receiver and returned to the information desk in the main lobby.

The PillCam is passed with a bowel movement usually within about 3 days. It can be flushed away – we don’t need it back!

If Your Child is Swallowing the PillCam

This test is done at the hospital – park in the ramp garage. Enter the main lobby on the first floor.

Take the silver elevators to the 6th floor. Turn right off the elevator and go to the end of the hall.

Register at the last reception area. Expect to be here about 1 hour.

Receiver must be returned to the information desk in the main lobby the same day or early the following day.