Pill Endoscopy? Help!

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 11/21/2009 8:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
I am supposed to have the Pill Cam Endoscopy on Monday AM. I have tested pos. for Chrons disease w/ the blood test and have the terrible pain and other symptoms etc.
Anyway, the small bowel series and the colonoscopy did NOT detect Chrons. I have had a whole bunch of these tests before and I am sick of them!!!
So, now the Dr is suggesting the Pill Cam test.
I really don't feel like having this test. I am in sooo much pain though in my right side abdomen. It's horrible.
Has anyone had this test? and advice, suggestions?? THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 348
   Posted 11/21/2009 8:49 PM (GMT -7)   
When I was at my doctor's office, there was a girl who had similar symptoms. They said it was not Crohn's though. Weird stuff though.
27m - Dx January 2005: UC/Crohn's
Humira, Entocort 9 mg, Asacol 4 x 3, Flagyl 250 mg x 3
Imuran failed

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 11/21/2009 10:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi jebnow,

Several people on here have either had them or are very knowledgeable about them. Apparently you do a prep like with a colonoscopy and then swallow a large pill. I saw some pictures somewhere (I don't remember where) that show some pads with wires taped to the abdomen and a belt pack which collect the pictures from the pill camera. It has to pass all the way through the system which takes an average of 36 hrs I think.

My mother had it done in her mid 70s and greatly preferred it to a colonoscopy. I haven't had it but it sounds like the worst part is just wearing the belt bag et al for that entire time.

I really think you should go through with it because it can get pictures of parts of the small intestine that they can't get any other way. You need to get this diagnosed so they can start treatment to end that pain.

Best of luck and hang in there. (((((hugs)))))

I feel a whole lot more the way I do now than I did a little while ago.
Crohn's Dx April 2006. Pentasa and Entocort EC

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 845
   Posted Yesterday 6:33 AM (GMT -7)   
I have done this test 4 times now and I promise that it will be the easiest test that you do. I did not have to fully prep any of the times but did go on a liquid diet the day before and could not eat the day of until a few hours after i had taken the pill. The pill itself it a larger size pill but no bigger than a bite of food that you would normally eat. They do connect a whole bunch of different wires to your abodomen to follow your G.I. tract and fit you with a harness that holds the receiver. The wires all are attached to the receiver and you will feel like a human dvd player for a few hours. As for the poster that talked about the time length, I have yet to have one that took over 8 hours. The pill may not always leave you system within the 8 hours but your doctor will want you to come in and get hooked up at the start of the day and back again at the end of the same day. Again, I can not say it enough about it being the easiest test that I have ever done. In the past there were complications with people not passing the pill afterwards, but now the majority of G.I.s use the dissolvable cameras. I also noticed that you said that the blood test came back positive for Crohn's disease, which blood test was this?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 832
   Posted Yesterday 7:06 AM (GMT -7)   
I have done the pill scope and it is not big deal.
It is just like taking a regular pill.

But my doc did a barium scope of the small bowels first to see if it was all open for the pill to go right through and not get stuck somewhere on the way.

good luck
25 year old female
Diagnosed with :
Endometriosis march 2007
Anxiety disorder august 2007
CD/UC they dont know witch October 2008
Autoimmune Hepatitis in July 2009

Medication - Asacol, Pariet, Cipralex and Cerazette.
Past medication Remicade
My wonderful dogs :) ~ www.poodle.is ~

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted Yesterday 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Most doctors do NOT script the Agile Patency Capsule first, BEFORE the Pill Camera, AND there is NO DISSOLVABLE pill CAMERA. There is the APC that is the same size as the PC. One need only go NPO for (if I remember correctly) 6 hours, then go in first thing in the morning to your doctor's office, swallow the APC which is the exact same size as the PC, and leave. If I remember correctly they tell you you can eat 2 hours later. 26 hours after swallowing the APC you go to an imaging facility for an abdominal xray. In my case, unfortunately, the APC was still present in my small intestine and that ended all of our aspirations for the PCE for me. *sigh* It did dissolve w/in the 3-4 days as it is designed to do.

Agian, to make clear, the Pill Camera is NOT dissolvable. If it gets stuck it is stuck and you could be in for some misery or surgery. Altho we've had a couple of people post who've carried that PC around in their intestine for months afterwards w/no difficulties which absolutely boggles my mind!!!

My not being a candidate for the PCE has been a great disappointment for me as I really, really would have liked some good pictures of my small intestine and just where any and all problems are. *sigh*

Oh - the reason you return the "package" and wires you carry around that day is because the PC's batteries are only good for about 8 hours and for most all of us our digestive systems have passed the PC thru the stomach and small intestine to the colon w/in 8 hours. The rest of our digestive time before eliminating our food (or PC) is spent on its journey thru the colon.
Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted Yesterday 8:10 AM (GMT -7)   
This is one of the best tests to see the Crohns in the small bowel. I would get the test, if it were me. Good luck!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Crohn's Disease for over 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted Yesterday 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Easiest and most informative test I have taken, because it shows areas that are not reached by normal scopes.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted Yesterday 3:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had it done multiple times. A few times were done with no prep, once I had to do a full prep. The battery on the Camera dies after 8 hours so even if the camera hasn't passed by then it will not be transmitting pictures after that time frame. I did have the camera not work properly once because the lens was obscured by some residue from my Pentasa. That was a bit disapointing, but overall it is a very easy test. A couple of things though, they tell you that you can carry on with your day, however you look a bit like a unibomber, so just be aware of that when you plan what you are doing. Sitting in your office, probably OK, shopping in the mall, maybe not. Also, I wore a new tank top and the velcro straps for the transmitter ruined it, so plan ahead on that front too.

Overall, it is an excellent test to actually see that area that a lot of us have the most issues with.

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 909
   Posted Yesterday 4:16 PM (GMT -7)   
The pill cam is just about the easiest test you can have for Crohn's. Unless you think you might have an obstruction, the risks of the pill getting stuck are small. The pill is about the size of a multivitamin. Because it is taking pictures along your entire intestinal tract, it can get places that other tests cannot see. The pill cam is what got me my diagnosis, so I'm a big supporter of it. The only annoying thing is being strapped up for eight hours, but it's a minor annoyance.
29f, PhD student, originally diagnosed with Crohn's in 2/06
10/09: Prometheus test shows results consistent with UC
10/12/09: beginning treatment for inflammatory arthritis
Currently taking: 7.5mg methotrexate weekly (pills), 2g Pentasa, tapering from 20mg prednisone, 150mg Trazadone, multivitamin, vitamin D, magnesium, probiotics, folic acid

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1885
   Posted Yesterday 9:51 PM (GMT -7)   
The pill cam is not risk-free. If you have inflammation it can cause narrowing and the pill cam can get stuck. I've seen more than one post on HW talking about how they had to have surgery because the pill cam became stuck.
Unless you have had the SBFT and scope within the past month or so, then it seems that, right now, nobody knows whether you have narrowing, so of course nobody knows whether the pill cam is safe for you. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 845
   Posted Today 2:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Actually, there is one that has a casing that disolves. I know this for a fact because I have done it 2 times and was beta tester on it. The old pill and one that is commonly used does not disolve and that it why there was a risk of it not passing. I have a problem also with narrowing and that is why I had to use the new one. It may not be availiable in your area or you doctor may choose not to use it but it is a real item.It is not the whole pill that disolves but only the outer coating making it smaller and easier to pass. Also, I have done the test 4 times and have not had to go in for an x ray except for the first time 5 years ago when i had a hard time passing it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 121
   Posted Today 8:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I had normal Upper GI w/small bowel follow-through, was negative on the Promethius blood test and my Crohn's was only found by the pillcam, which diagnosed it in the small bowel only.  It was my lifesaver and not a tough test, comparatively speaking.

DX W/AS 1996

DX of CD 8/2006

Taking: Pentasa (1 Gram 4 x Day), Remicade (once a month), Ultram and hydrocodone as needed for Pain, Advair for Asthma, Synthroid for Hypothyroidism, Necon--active pills only/no placebos, Methotrexate (12.5 mg 1 x week)Metoclopramide as Needed for GP and Nausea, Fish Oil (2400 mg 2 x day), Calcium (500 mg 3 x day), Vitamin D 1000 iu 2 x day), Milk Thistle (1000 mg 2 x day), Folic Acid (1000 mcg 1 x day), B-100 (1 x day), Turmeric Curcumin (500 mg 1 x day), Quercetin (500 mg 1 x day), Vitamin C (1400 mg 1 x day), CoQ10 (100 mg 2 x day), Selenium (200 mcg 1 x day) 

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 153
   Posted Today 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   

I had to have this test a few years ago. You just swallow the pill and then they strap a little device to you that folows the path of the pill which takes pics every so often. There is no pain involved. The pill is not much bigger than a normal vicodin. The biggest pain is keeping the device strapped to you. I had to keep it on and go to work, but my pill passed within a coulple of hours so it wasn't that bad.

Don't be worried. I've had pretty much every test and this is BY FAR the easiest.

Good luck!



New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Thursday, November 23, 2017 6:17 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,897,105 posts in 317,978 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 157555 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Dash626.
281 Guest(s), 4 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
jmc, Pratoman, Faithmac, straydog

About Us | Advertise | Donate
Newsletter | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer
Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
©1996-2017 HealingWell.com LLC  All Rights Reserved.