Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancers that affect both men and women. It is often preventable: six out of ten deaths could be prevented if everyone age 50 and older got regular screenings. ‘Virtual Colonoscopy’ is an optional, less invasive screening when conventional colonoscopy screening is incomplete or not recommended due to other medical reasons.
What is Virtual Colonoscopy?
Virtual Colonoscopy, or CT Colonography, is a minimally invasive, state-of-the-art diagnostic tool that utilizes a CT scan for routine colorectal screening to discover polyps and cancer at their most treatable stages. Your virtual colonoscopy exam provides advantages such as:
The procedure requires no sedation, so no ‘down time’
Only a small amount of air is introduced to insufflate the colon, so cramps are minimal or absent
Ultra-fast CT scanning provides accurate polyp measurements and visualization of polyps as small as 3mm
Am I a candidate for Virtual Colonoscopy?
Screening candidates include average risk individuals, such as healthy people 50 and older, who want to receive screening for polyps and cancer without enduring some of the downtime and discomfort associated with traditional colonoscopy. Colon cancers can almost always be cured if detected early. Virtual Colonoscopy is a screening exam and is not for individuals who are symptomatic.
Sometimes, a physician will refer patients for CT Colonoscopy due to medical necessity, such as intestinal obstruction or drug indications.
How should I prepare for this procedure?
Cleansing of the bowel is required prior to the exam. Our imaging center will also provide you with a kit of low-density foods and instruct you with respect to drinking clear liquids and other preparations.
What should I expect from this procedure?
The exam will last approximately ten minutes while you are lying on an exam table. Air is introduced into your colon through a thin tube to distend the bowel which allows polyps to stand out, if present.
For more information on this topic, please visit www.Radiologyinfo.org.