What is virtual colonscopy
Virtual colonoscopy is currently a good option for individuals who cannot or will not undergo colonoscopy. A virtual colonscopy CT Scan is more comfortable than conventional colonoscopy because it does not use a colonoscope. As a result, no sedation is needed, and the patient can return to their usual activities or go home after the procedure without the aid of another person.
Virtual Colonoscopy, also known as CT Colonography is a new technique that uses CT scanning technology to construct 3D images of the colon. The procedure is used by medical professionals to diagnose colon and bowel disease, including polyps and cancer. Colon-rectal cancer is sometimes curable by detecting and removing early cancers and pre-cancerous polyps before spreading to other parts of the body.
Imaging Central performs virtual colonoscopies on a daily basis at our Claremont clinic.
Benefits of a Virtual Colonoscopy
Virtual colonoscopy provides similar views of the colon as those obtained at colonoscopy; however it has not replaced colonoscopy as the primary screening tool for individuals at either normal or high risk for polyps or colon cancer. A virtual colonoscopy is a good option for patients who would like to have bowel cancer screening and do not wish to undergo colonoscopy. It is a recommended test in patients without any bowel-cancer related symptoms (i.e obstruction, or bleeding), especially in the low-average risk group over 50 years age.
If an abnormality is discovered, the patient will be required to have a standard colonoscopy at a later stage for biopsy or removal of a polyp.
A virtual colonoscopy provides clearer, more detailed images than a conventional X-ray using a barium enema. A virtual colonoscopy provides a secondary benefit of revealing diseases or abnormalities outside the colon.
In preparation for the virtual colonoscopy, the colon is cleaned-out to the virtual colonoscopy examination. Patients will need to prepare for this procedure using the special preparation kit available from our radiology clinic. The Bowel Preparation Kit will clearly explain the need to have the bowel correctly prepared before the examination.
The success of your examination depends on the bowel being as clear as possible, otherwise the examination may need to be repeated. For the examination to be satisfactory it is most important that you follow the instructions given very carefully. The diet you are asked to follow and the laxatives to be taken are to help clear the large intestine of faecal material. THE PRESENCE OF SUCH MATERIAL CAN BE MISTAKEN FOR TUMOURS IN THE INTESTINE and if a large amount of faecal material is present the examination may have to be repeated. The laxatives will cause watery diarrhoea and may occasionally cause abdominal cramps.
Please give our Patient Services Team a call, if you have any queries or concerns.