For more patient information on virtual colonoscopies, click here.
What is Virtual Colonoscopy?
MIC offers Computed Tomography (CT) colonography, or virtual colonoscopy, to screen for early signs of colorectal cancer such as polyps or tumours.
- Uses CT scanning to check the large bowel for polyps, masses, tumours and other abnormalities.
- Generates both 2D and 3D images.
- Requires similar preparation to traditional colonoscopy but is less invasive.
- Allows our radiologists to see to see inside your large bowel and to take a very basic look at your internal organs.
The key to surviving colorectal cancer is early detection. When polyps in the colon are found early enough, they can be removed before they become cancerous.
Routine screening of the colon should begin at age 50. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or other diseases of the bowel, you should begin screening at age 40.
MIC’s Dr. Modest Janicki performs virtual colonoscopy at our Century Park clinic. Watch as he explains what you can expect.
Talk to your healthcare practitioner to see if virtual colonoscopy is right for you.
Is there a cost?
Yes. Virtual colonoscopy is not insured by Alberta Health Care Insurance. You may be able to claim the cost under certain extended health benefit plans or health spending accounts.
What to expect
- When you book your appointment, we will tell you how to prepare for the exam and the dietary restrictions you must follow.
- You can expect to spend about 45 minutes at MIC.
- At the start of the procedure, our technologist will position you on the CT examination table lying flat on your back or less commonly, on your side or stomach.
- The technologist will insert a very small, flexible tube two inches into your rectum and gently pump CO2 into the colon. This distends your large bowel and ensures the radiologist will have a good view of any polyps or other abnormalities.
- Once your colon is distended, the imaging will begin. You will be moved into the CT scanner for about 5 minutes.
- You may experience some discomfort, much like abdominal cramps or a feeling of fullness. This only lasts for a few minutes.
- After your virtual colonoscopy, you can return to your normal diet and activities.
- The radiologist will review the images and provide a complete report to your practitioner, usually within 24 hours.