Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Pill cam questions


08-26-2010, 11:01 AM   #1
Cat-a-Tonic
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Pill cam questions

My GI wants me to have a pill cam done ASAP. He was going to schedule a small bowel follow-through but decided against it. I am sure I read somewhere on the forum that SBFT is typical prior to pill cam, to rule out strictures or narrowing so that the pill cam doesn't get stuck. Correct? I'm not too worried, since they saw no narrowing/inflammation/strictures on upper endoscopy nor colonoscopy. Should I be worried that he isn't doing the SBFT?

I think I also read that there is some sort of "dummy" capsule that they can give before doing the pill cam, that is the same size as pill cam but will dissolve if it gets stuck. Should I ask about that? I have to get the pill cam itself from the hospital, and they're going to be calling me soon to schedule the pill cam, so I want to be prepared with my questions when they do call.

For those who have had pill cam, what's the belt like that they make you wear? My GI said I can go to work while the pill cam is doing it's thing, but I'm wondering how unwieldy the belt is. Is it huge or heavy or uncomfortable? For those that had it, were you able to work or go about your usual daily activities with the belt on?
08-26-2010, 02:21 PM   #2
dustydshook
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I am getting ready to have it also. Just waiting for the hospital to call and schedule it. I have already had the upper bowel study though. I would also like to know the answers to these questions If any one knows?
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08-27-2010, 03:41 AM   #3
Lulu
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I had a capsule endoscopy done last December. I had the 'patency' capsule a couple of days before hand just to make sure the camera wouldnt get stuck. I thought every one had that done, my GI has everyone do it anway.

The belt is not heavy but can be a bit awkward as far as clothing goes if you were wanting to go to work. I had the day off but you could work in say an office with no problems.
08-27-2010, 06:16 AM   #4
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Thanks Lulu! I do work in an office so that's good to know. I'll make sure to ask about the patency capsule too. Thanks again for your reply!
08-27-2010, 10:32 AM   #5
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Okay, I just got off the phone with the hospital to schedule the pill cam. My appointment's in a couple of weeks. But now I have a question about the prep. For those who have had pill cam done, what was the prep like? I thought I read online that it was just an overnight fast and then no food for the first few hours. But the nurse who scheduled my appointment said that I have to start doing liquid diet after lunchtime the day before, and I have to drink 1/2 of the colonoscopy prep stuff the night before too. Ugh! I hate colonoscopy prep so much, even the gatorade & miralax prep. Last time I had to do that prep, I got really dehydrated & light-headed and felt awful. Did anyone else have to drink half of a colonoscopy prep for their pill cam??
08-28-2010, 03:23 AM   #6
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Sorry I cant really help with that one as I had a colonoscopy a couple of days before (came back clear which is why he wanted the capsule endoscopy) so my insides were already cleaned out. I just had to fast from the night before and went in about 7am and got hooked up. Was allowed a light lunch then went back about 4pm and was unhooked.
08-28-2010, 06:52 AM   #7
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Hm, okay. So did you get diagnosed from your pill cam? I'm still undiagnosed which is why I'm having this done. My colonoscopy also came back clear, as did my endoscopy and my CT scan and my blood tests and my stool tests...

Another thing, I asked the lady on the phone yesterday about doing the patency capsule to make sure the pill cam wouldn't get stuck. She said she'd check into it, but that she is pretty sure that it's actually cheaper to do the small bowel follow-through than it is to do the dummy capsule. That makes no sense to me! It's cheaper to fill me with barium and take a bunch of x-rays, than it is to give me a fake pill to swallow??? Ugh, I just do not understand the medical system in this country. It's ridiculous.
08-28-2010, 04:28 PM   #8
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only prep i had with the pill cam was fasting at lunch the day before and no food for four hours after the pill. i had it done twice and the pill never left my stomach. i couldnt work with mine since i work at a shipyard no recording devices allowed on premise, plus i would get the doctors stuff all dirty and sweaty.
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08-29-2010, 03:36 AM   #9
Lulu
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Hey Cat,

Yes, got a definite diagnosis from the pill cam although in the mean time the biopsy results from the colonoscopy came back and did show granulomas which is also a good indication of crohn's but the pill cam could show exactly where the damage is. I had also had the small bowel follow through not long before but it was done by a different doctor and my GI wanted all his own testing done which is why he wanted the patency capulse even though he was told it was unlikely to get stuck.

Sorry I cant comment on the cost as I didnt have to pay for any of it and wasnt even told the cost.
08-29-2010, 06:28 AM   #10
drew_wymore
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I had to do the prep .. if you search this forum you'll see I've had the pill cam 5 times ;-) Not too bad just don't go to any airports =p Normal colonoscopy prep for me when I did it to make sure they got clear images.
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08-29-2010, 06:49 AM   #11
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Wow, the variation in the preps is surprising. Afman just had to fast and Drew had to do the full colonoscopy prep? Yikes! Sounds like I'm right in the middle with the 1/2 colonoscopy prep. Interesting. Drew, can I ask why you had to have pill cam done 5 times?
08-29-2010, 06:58 AM   #12
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One of them just sat in my stomach for 8 hours, another got partially stuck and a couple more weren't clear enough to get what they wanted. The 5th one found the inflammation that 2 colonoscopies couldn't find :-)
08-30-2010, 04:48 PM   #13
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Wow! How did you clear the one that was partially stuck - did it eventually come out on its own, or did you need surgery to get it out? That's my biggest fear right now, that it'll get stuck - I still don't know if they'll have me do the dummy capsule or the small bowel follow-through or not.
09-02-2010, 10:20 AM   #14
calmygal
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i am going to ask about the pillcam at my next drs appt so let me know how yours goes cat because i seem to be in the same boat as you these days and i am very interested in this pillcam to see if i can get a diagnosis for my symptoms. Any info from you would help so much!! And i wouldn't want to do the prep again either i had a rough time with it also.. but we have to do what we have to do to get through this right??
10-27-2010, 12:35 PM   #15
AshleyElaine87
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I just got done with the dummy pill, and am waiting to see if the doctor wants to do the actual cam. I had surgery in May, and I feel the same as I did before the surgery...all the x-rays I get come back okay, so I guess I don't want to go through the pill cam just to look stupid.
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