Tests & Procedures

At Minnesota Gastroenterology, we know that patients and families want to know as much as possible about the test and/or procedure that is being recommended by a healthcare provider.  Refer to the list below to find the information that is most helpful to you.  If you still have questions, please contact us through our website Quick Links or call (612) 871-1145 to make an office appointment.


PillCam (Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy)


To ensure a successful exam, please follow all instructions carefully. Failure to accurately and completely prepare for your exam may result in the need for an additional procedure and both procedures will be billed to your insurance.

Before your exam:

Purchase the following over-the-counter supplies at your local pharmacy:

1-8.3 oz. bottle of polyethylene glycol 3350 powder (MiraLAX, SmoothLAX, ClearLAX, or generic equivilant)

64 oz. Gatorade liquid (NOT red). Regular Gatorade, Gatorade G2, Powerade or PoweradeZero are acceptable.

1 week before your exam:

  • Discontinue medications containing iron. This includes multivitamins with iron

The day before your exam:

At noon, begin a clear liquid diet (NO red or purple liquids):

  • Water
  • Clear broth or bouillon
  • Coffee or tea (without milk or non-dairy creamer)
  • Gatorade®, Pedialyte®, or Powerade®
  • Carbonated & non-carbonated soft drinks
  • Kool-Aid or other fruit-flavored drinks
  • Strained fruit juices (no pulp)
  • Jell-O, popsicles and hard candy

 Between 4 and 6 pm:

  • Mix 1 bottle of Miralax with 64 oz of Gatorade in a large pitcher
  • Drink 1-8 oz. glass of the Miralax/Gatorade solution
  • Continue drinking 1-8 oz. glass every 15 minutes thereafter until the mixture is gone.

10 hours before your exam:

  • Stop drinking all liquids

The day of your exam:

  • You may take medications up to 2 hours before your exam with a sip of water. Our staff will discuss your medication schedule with you when you arrive.
  • We will be placing a belt with sensors across your abdomen, over your clothing.  Please wear an upper garment of thin, natural fiber cloth (such as a T-shirt) that is long enough to reach the hip level. both the belt and the recorder will be visible.

When you leave for your exam:

  • Bring a photo ID as well as up-to-date insurance information, such as your insurance card and any referral forms that might be required by your insurance company. 
  • Co-pays are required on the day of your appointment
  • You may drive yourself home after the procedure.


What is small bowel capsule endoscopy (PillCam SB)?
Small bowel capsule endoscopy enables your doctor to examine the three portions (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum) of your small intestine. Your doctor will use a vitamin-sized pill video capsule as an endoscope, which has its own camera and light source. While the video capsule travels through your body, images are sent to a data recorder you will wear on a waist belt. Most patients consider the test comfortable. Afterwards, your doctor will view the images on a video monitor.


PillCam Endoscopy helps your doctor determine the cause for recurrent or persistent symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, bleeding or anemia, in most cases where other diagnostic procedures failed to determine the reason for your symptoms. In certain chronic gastrointestinal diseases, the method can help to evaluate the extent to which your small intestine is involved or to monitor the effect of therapeutics.


What should I expect during PillCam SB endoscopy?
The staff will prepare you for the examination by placing a belt that contains sensors across your abdomen. The PillCam endoscope is ingested and passes naturally through your digestive tract while transmitting video images to a data recorder worn on a belt for approximately eight to twelve hours as directed by your provider.


You will be able to eat four hours after swallowing the capsule ingestion unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. The capsule is disposable and passes naturally with your bowel movement. You should not feel any pain or discomfort during capsule excretion.


What should I expect after PillCam SB endoscopy?
At the end of the procedure, you will need to return to the office to return the equipment (waist belt, data recorder, and battery pack). The equipment must be returned no later than 10 AM on the day following the procedure. The images acquired during your exam will be downloaded to a workstation for physician to review. After the doctor has looked at this video, you will be contacted with the results. After ingesting the capsule and until it is excreted, you should not have a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) examination or be near a MRI device.


What are the possible complications of PillCam SB endoscopy?
Although complications may occur, they are rare when staff who are specially trained and experienced in this procedure perform the test. A potential risk could be retention of the capsule. It is important for you to recognize early signs of possible complications. If you have a fever after the test, trouble swallowing, increasing chest or abdominal pain, tell your doctor immediately.


Results from any testing will be sent via mail or sent to the Patient Portal.