PillCam™ patient procedure brochure

A colon exam in a capsule:

No sedation, no radiation. By Medtronic.

Peace-of-mind with clear visualisation to aid diagnosis

The PillCam™ COLON capsule is an easy to swallow pill with two cameras inside. It provides clear images to help your doctor detect polyps, which can progress to colon cancer.

The PillCam™ COLON capsule endoscopy does not require sedation or a stay in hospital. And it can help your doctor determine if a colonoscopy is necessary.

Safety, convenience, and accuracy — all in one small capsule.

What to expect from a PillCam™ COLON capsule

During the procedure

  • Once you’ve swallowed the capsule, it captures images as it travels naturally through your colon.
    You’ll need to take extra laxatives and potentially a tablet (called a prokinetic) to help the capsule move through the bowels — before the battery runs out.
  • It’s best to remain active, walking around when possible to encourage natural movement through
    the bowels. You should avoid lying down or sleeping during the procedure.
  • The images are transmitted to a data recorder that you wear in a pouch and strap around your shoulder. After the procedure is complete, your doctor can download the data and analyse the images.

Your doctor cannot see the colon properly if there’s any remaining waste. Please make sure you follow the preparation guidance for a successful procedure.

Frequently asked questions

When will I get my results?

Following the procedure, the images of your colon will be transferred from the recorder to a computer. They will be organised into a video for your doctor to carefully review. Once reviewed, your doctor will contact you to discuss the results.

How long does the procedure take?

It takes up to 10 hours to complete the procedure. During this time, you are fully awake and can go about your normal day.

How big is the capsule, will I feel any pain or discomfort?

It is about the size of a vitamin pill and easy to swallow. It has a smooth texture similar to capsules for pain relief. You shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort when swallowing it, or while it moves through your colon.

How long is the recovery?

Recovery is immediate because there’s no sedation required. While the capsule transmits images, you will be able to continue with your normal routine and perform daily tasks such as driving.

Do I need to retrieve the capsule?

No. The capsule is disposable and passes through your body naturally during a bowel movement.

Can I take my regular medication?

Every patient is different so it’s important to speak to your doctor about continuing your regular medications during the procedure.

Indications for use:

The PillCam™ COLON system is intended for the visualisation of the colon for diagnosis of colonic disorders. The PillCam™ COLON capsule is intended for use in adults and children from 8 years of age.

Risk information:

The risks of the PillCam™ COLON capsule include capsule retention, aspiration, skin irritation, perforation, obstruction, mucosal injury, and bleeding. The risks associated with colon preparation are allergies or other known contraindications to any preparation agents or
medications used for the PillCam™ COLON system regimen, according to laxative medication labelling and per doctor discretion. Medical, endoscopic, or surgical intervention may be necessary to address any of these complications, should they occur. After ingesting the
PillCam™ COLON capsule, and until the capsule is excreted, patients should not be near any source of powerful electromagnetic fields, such as one created near an MRI device.

Be sure to discuss the potential risks, contraindications, complications and benefits of PillCam™ COLON with your doctor. Only your doctor can determine whether you are a suitable candidate for this procedure.


  • Eliakim R, Yassin K, Niv Y, et al. Prospective multicenter performance evaluation of the second-generation colon capsule compared with colonoscopy. Endoscopy. 2009 Dec;41(12):1026–1031.
  • Spada C, Hassan C, Munoz-Navas M, et al. Second generation PillCam COLON capsule compared with colonoscopy. Gastrointest Endosc. 2011;74(3):581–589