Virtual Colonoscopy

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Responsible for more than 50,000 deaths a year, colon cancer ranks as the second leading cause of death in the United States. We highly recommend routine screenings for patients 50 years and older or those who are at a higher risk for developing colon cancer.

Generally, optical colonoscopies have been the standard procedure performed to screen for colon cancer, and many opt out of this screening because of the possible complications and discomfort associated with it.

At MSR, we utilize the most advanced technology for colon cancer screening, the “virtual” colonoscopy. Using the latest generation CT scanners, we are able to obtain 3D images of the colon and display them on specialized computers. A 2003 study posted in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded the information from a virtual colonoscopy were very comparable to that gathered from a conventional colonoscopy.

Preparation for Exam

Patients should prepare for a virtual colonoscopy as they would a conventional colonoscopy. To ensure the colon is free of any fecal matter, a bowel-cleaning regimen should be followed the day prior to the exam. You can obtain a kit from our office.

What to Expect During the Exam

While the patient is lying on the CT table, a thin, rubber tube will be inserted into the rectum and air is passed through the tube. You will be asked to hold your breath for 15 seconds while the CT scanner obtains images of the colon. Images will be taken with the patient first lying on their back, and then on their stomach.

Mild stomach cramping is to be expected following the procedure due to the air that was inserted into the colon. Patients can resume normal daily activities soon after the procedure.

Virtual Colonoscopy Clinical Case Studies: