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Digestive Problems


Ernie
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Hi,

I need a test to be done. It is the one where you swallow a pill which has a camera and it goes in you digestive system and takes pictures has you go about digesting your food. Do any of you know the name of that test?

Also, is that test done is any hospital or do we have to go to a big hospital, a teaching hospital? We don't have that test in Canada yet and I would like to have it done.

Any idea on the price?

Thanks

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hi ernie -

i think it is most commonly referred to as a video capsule endoscopy, or just as a capsule endoscopy. usually it's done for suspected GI bleeding but can be used in other GI situations as well. while it's not available everywhere it's becoming more widely used so it's more widespread than some other testing. some independent GI offices do it as well (aka not affiliated specifically with a hospital). as far as cost i'm not sure what it would be without insurance but i'm guessing it's not cheap. what's the reason you're interested in having it done?

hope this helps,

B) melissa

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Hi Melissa,

Thanks for your reply.

I want to have the test done because I have pain in my ascending colon. When the doctors do the tests when the colon is empty or with the baryum they don't see anything. But I feel a blockage.

I would like to go to a hospital in Plattsburgh or somewhere near the border so I don't have to travel too far if possible. I will call some hospitals next week and check with them to see if they do it there and what kind of referrals I need. I know a TTT is 1,500$ so I hope that this test is not has expensive!

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hello again -

i found this article which has a bit of info on cost http://www.endonurse.com/articles/2c1feat4.html though it's cost to the provider rather than the patient. essentially it says that the capsule itself is $450. that obviously doesn't include fees of doctors/ techs that administer the test, read the results, etc. and there will always be mark-up on the cost the provider has paid as well as something added in to help cover the cost of the external equipment used (which the article states was $27,000 to purchase for the institution). so honestly i don't see how it could end up being less than $1000, and my guess is that it would be more than that.

B) melissa

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hi ernie,

there was an article in today's newspaper describing this same test. it didn't say anything about costs (and i'm sure it wouldn't be worth it (financially i mean) to fly over, although it would be so much fun to meet!!!).

hope you can get it done for a reasonable price and that it helps you!

love,

corina B)

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ernie, it's usually done to look at the small intestine, as there is really no good way to do that. They have barium swallows, called small bowel follow throughs and those are a series of x rays taken after drinking quite a lot of barium, but it does show strictures and things in the small intestine.

The capsule is really the only other good way I know of. I had a friend who had it done while in the hospital, but you just wear a little back pack with it, so don't know why it couldn't be done outpatient. if you have something going on in your ascending colon, it can be looked at directly with a colooscopy. They just can't get an endoscope far enough down or far enough up to see the small intestine.

If you feel the problem may be in your small bowel, as opposed to your colon, which can be viewed in it's entirety (geez spelling) then you might start with a small bowel follow through, which is bound to be much cheaper than the capsule. If you feel you have a stricture or something obstructing it, I have no doubt it will show something. good luck, whatever you decide (I think it is very expensive, my GI doc told me it was prohibitive cost wise, which means a lot) morgan

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just an fyi that where i'm at in ohio it's actually only done as outpatient testing, so outpatient is definitely a possibility in that regard...it's been talked about for me but no one can figure out how to get it to my intestines since my stomach doesn't work as it's too large to put through my J tube (which goes right into my intestines).

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I wonder if they could use an endoscope procedure to put that capsule in your small intestine Melissa. I think they can get the scope down far enough to see the upper part of the small intestine.

I know they were able to see the diverticuli in my upper small bowel when they did my endoscopy in 2001. I was kind of dopey after the procedure, but I'm sure he said he saw that.

I wonder if they have some kind of attachment they could put on the end of the scope to do something like that???

Just a thought. You never know........ B)

Ernie, I didn't know you were having trouble with your guts. That's the last thing you need dear. I do think the barium/small bowel follow through could view something like what you are talking about. An obstruction can sometimes be seen on a normal x-ray.

They also saw my diverticuli on one of those barium swallow studies. It's about the size of a quarter. I can never have corn----(it's slippery, and a bunch of those little kernals can slip into that pocket at once)----------I have gotten really sick twice from eating corn------------never had such pain in my gut like that. If I eat too many things with thick skins like potatos, apples, nuts, basically anything I can't put my thumb nail through, it will mess my guts up. But corn is by far the worst thing I can put in my gut. Too bad, I love corn.

Take care of yourself Ernie---------------- cuteflo.gif

HUGS,

Maxine :0)

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Thanks Melissan, Corina, Morgan and Maxine.

I called Plattsburgh and found a GI doctor who will do the test. It cost 500$ for the pill and between 100-160$ for the consultation.

I'll keep you posted.

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ernie -

glad that you found a doctor & that while certainly not cheap the cost is at least less than i expected. if you decide to do the test i hope it's helpful for you. and of course you'll have to let us know how it goes.

maxine-

thanks for the creative thinking. upper endoscopies definitely do enter the upper part of the small intestines so that might be a possibility, though my small intestines - particularly the upper portion aren't in great shape either motility-wise so i'm not sure if they'd be willing to give it a shot or not. the potential of having to go in & retrieve it surgically isn't too appealing to anyone as i'm sure you would understand! that test in particular isn't a top priority at the moment as no one really thinks it would provide helpful info but i'll definitely keep your idea in mind.

re: the diverticulum, they found & removed one that i had in my small intestine (a meckel's diverticulum, a type of congenital abnormality that approx. 2% of the population has & usually isn't problematic) when i had surgery in april. somehow - despite extensive testing over the years & recently - it had never shown up. it i think it was about 5cm long and while they don't think it had anything to do with any problems i've had it doesn't do anything helpful and be a place for infections to "hide" so it made sense to get rid of it in my situation since i was already under the knife.

B) melissa

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