What is a Virtual Colonoscopy?

There is good news for those of you who know you should have a colonoscopy and have been putting off getting one. There is a new procedure called a virtual colonoscopy and it is easier to take now than it ever has been in the past.

The virtual colonoscopy uses a CT scanner and computer virtual reality software. This means no inserting a long tube inside the colon and no taking liquid barium (conventional colonoscopy). Yet, doctors are still able to look at the large bowel and inspect for polyps and cancers.

How is the test performed?

Before the test can be performed, the patient’s bowel must be cleansed first. He/she will be given instructions as well as the cleansing preparation that is to be used by his/her doctor. Usually a patient is also put on a liquid diet 24 hours prior to the test.

The day of the test, the patient should arrive at the Radiology department. The virtual colonoscopy will be given by a trained radiologist who will be using a standard CAT scan machine.

First, a small flexible rubber tube will be placed in the patient’s rectum. This tube will allow air to flow into the patient’s bowel area.

Then the patient will be asked to lay on their back and then their stomach. While they are lying comfortably a CAT scan will be taken. This scan will take approximately 10 to 20 minutes.

The procedure does not require any sedatives. For this reason, after the scan is finished, the patient is able to leave immediately. There is no need for time to rest or recovery. Plus, the patient can resume all normal activities.

After the test is completed, a radiologist will look over all the data, to make sure the patient has no polyps or cancers.

Is there any pain with a virtual colonoscopy?

Usually, there is no pain with a virtual colonoscopy. But some patients have experienced gas like pain when the air has been introduced to the body. When this occurs, an IV of a medicine to relax the bowel is usually given.

What are the advantages of having a virtual colonoscopy?

This type of colonoscopy is less expensive than the conventional type.

The virtual colonoscopy is well tolerated and involves no sedatives.

Why should anyone have any type of Colonoscopy?

You all ready know the answer to that. Cancer. You should definitely get a colonoscopy if you are 50 years of age or older. A colonoscopy can find cancer early and can save your life. Colon cancer can be cured, if detected early. There is no way to know if you have colon cancer without a checking, without getting a colonoscopy.

Colon cancer is the second biggest cancer killer.

Colonoscopies can find polyps before they become cancerous.

Now that there is an easier way to get your colon checked and you are over fifty years old, what are you waiting for now? Get on the phone. Schedule an appointment with your doctor. Ask him/her about this new method.

Take the test. Maybe save your life. You have love ones who want to keep you in their lives.

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