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Camera pill test

camera pill test

I'm the father of a Crohn's patient. On CT scan, it was determined he had Crohn's disease in distal jejunum to proximal illeum. Other tests(colonoscopy, small bowel follow through)were unable to determine damage to small intestine. Our GI said camera swallow,is. usually done 5 yrs after diagnosis. After other meds failed, he has been on Remicade since May 2008, and doing very well. I want to ask the GI about the camera pill swallow. The previous tests have shown a large loop of small bowel is effected with a stricture. What should I know and ask, before requesting this test? Should any other tests be done first?(small bowel, to see if stricture still present) Any suggestions? Thanks!:sign0085:
Hi Nicholas

Just wondering where you are in he world, as some NHS hospitals in the UK do not offer the pillcam service. I had mine done at a hospital 35 miles away from where I lived and once I got a diagnosis, I went for an MRI which showed it up also. The test is painless its all the prep you have to have before doing it was the issue for me. You wear a belt and a recorder for eight hours which is a bit odd for a bloke as it looks like an handbag! I would request the test there is no harm in asking and good look to your son.
Hi, most hospitals can refer you for a pillcam. I've had 2 now-for both I was referred to another hospital with no problems at all- there was never for me a problem with funding etc
They may well not be keen on the pillcam if there is a stricture though as it can get stuck. If it will change his management and they want to do one they may try a dummy pill first, or a small bowel follow through. The other test that they may do instead is an MRI enteroclysis which has good results.
Capsule Endoscopy

Hi Nicholas,

The Capsule Endoscopy is not done through the NHS, but can be funded by them, if they are willing to pay the price. I changed Hospital from Salisbury to Southampton because I was not happy with the treatment there. Southampton straight away said they would fund a Capsule Endoscopy and I had it done 3 weeks later. I am in disbelief that a GI doctor has said to you to wait 5 years - I think they are just saving money, unless it is dangerous due to stricturing.
I've taken a video of the capsule if your interested:


It takes about 10 hours to go through your body - I put a sandwich box down the toilet to catch the capsule - just to ensure it had passed through my system. Might be messy but it gives you piece of mind and it's something to show off, if your that way inclined!

The results are usually sent to your NHS GI doctor in about 2 weeks - I usually chase his/her secretary to see if the results are in.

MRI scan is also very good at determining Crohn's - You have to drink quite a lot of solution before you go into the MRI scanner - It's quite tight in the scanner but doesn't last too long. Results to your GI doctor within days. I found that the liquid that I had to drink upset my bowels for about 3 days afterwards.

Hope this helps

Not on any medication apart from Loperamide (hardens the stool) due to resection of bowels due to Ruptured Appendicitis (Not Crohn's I suspect at all - but you try and get a Doctor to admit they have made a mistake!)


Super Moderator
As littlemissh said, the suspected stricture may be problematic when it comes to using the pill cam, although a dummy test can be done.

What about a CT Enterogram? They are very sensitive to picking up inflammation and abnormalities in the small bowel. If further testing is then required it will also give the doc an idea as to whether a pill cam may be suitable.

Dusty. :)
The pillcam is funded through the nhs. Both my pillcams were also done at nhs hospitals. It does seem however that some hospitals/ trusts have certain criteria that must be met before it can be arranged. As far as I am aware at my local hospital if the consultant feels the pillcam will be abeneficial test then they can just order it.