You've been referred for a Smart Pill evaluation, which will help your doctor, evaluate or treat your condition. This explanation is meant to give you a basic understanding of the procedure - how it is performed, how it can help, and what side effects you might experience. It can't answer all of your questions, since a lot depends on the individual patient and the doctor. Please ask your doctor about anything you don't understand.
What Is the Smart Pill?
The Smart pill is a wireless data monitoring system, used to diagnose motility problems in the intestinal tract. Its main indication is to diagnose gastroparesis, which is a delayed emptying of the stomach. The Smart pill can also record small intestinal transit time, small intestinal pH, pressure and temperature data. It is not indicated for use in pediatric populations.
What Can I Expect During The SmartPill exam?
This procedure was traditionally done in the radiologist's office, but can now be done in the convenience of your physician's office. The Smart pill provides rapid access to GI motility data. It is well tolerated and does not expose patients to radiation. It is an ambulatory test done under real life conditions. On the first day of the test, the patient will eat a small breakfast in the physician's office. At this time the SmartPill will be ingested. The patient then leaves the physician's office and resumes a normal daily schedule. The patient will have a small computer device similar to a cell phone that can be used to note significant events such as exercise or meal intake. The patient can remove the wireless device to sleep or bath. On day number 3, the patient returns the data recorder to the physician's office, and the procedure is finished.
What Are The Possible Complications Of The Smart Pill?
The SmartPill is a safe, low risk procedure and is unlikely to cause any pain. It is possible with any swallowed device, it could become stuck in the intestinal tract. If this happens, it could require surgery to remove. This is more likely to happen in someone who has an underlying stricture or inflammatory condition which may be blocking the intestinal tract prior to the procedure. Complications are rare.
If you have any questions about your need for The SmartPill exam, alternative approaches to your problem, the cost of the procedure, methods of billing or insurance coverage, do not hesitate to speak to your doctor or doctor's office staff about it.