I recently spent four days in the hospital due an unexplained GI bleed. I lost two and a half pints of blood and the bleed stopped on its own after a couple days. They scoped my pouch and went as far up as they could, but could't find anything except "old" blood left over from the bleed. They're guessing that I was probably bleeding somewhere between my stomach and pouch, where they couldn't get to with the scope. The Dr. mentioned using a camera pill to get a look at everything. My concern is that I'm prone to to blockages and this worries me. The Dr. said they use a wax pill they can "track" first. If it does get stuck, it will eventually melt and pass and I obviously won't be a good candidate. I was just curious if anyone has used the camera pill and can tell me what to expect or how it worked. Byn the way, I also had an upper GI and an MRI, but neither showed anything.


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Hi John,

The capsule endoscopy is a VERY useful and effective tool to find an unexplained bleed in the GI tract. It is less reliable for other uses, such as finding inflammation.....

To be honest, I don't think there is a real "danger" in having the pill stuck at any point along the way. If you think about it, if the pill ends up getting stuck, it is telling you that you have a area of your intestine that is extremely narrowed. This can be a "useful" suggestion and diagnosis in itself. If the pill does end up getting stuck (retained) it doesn't plug up your intestine like a cork, it typically will just float around and not pass for an extended period of time. Needless to say, that at some point, removing the capsule will be recommended, but the primary concern will be "why" the capsule was stuck in the first place.


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