For more patient information on virtual colonoscopies
What is a Virtual Colonoscopy?
A Computed Tomography (CT) colonography, or virtual colonoscopy, can be used to screen for precancerous and cancerous growths in the colon or rectum (colorectal cancer), such as polyps or tumors.
The key to surviving colorectal cancer is early detection. Identified early enough, polyps in the colon can be removed before they become cancerous. The most common diagnostic method is the conventional colonoscopy which is invasive and can be complicated by other risk factors.
A virtual colonoscopy performed by an MIC radiologist is less invasive and extremely accurate. The test can depict many polyps and other lesions as clearly as when they are seen in a conventional colonoscopy.
During the procedure, the computer generates a detailed 3-D model of the abdomen and pelvis, which the radiologist uses to view the bowel in a way that simulates traveling through the colon. This is why the procedure is often called a virtual colonoscopy. Two dimensional (2-D) images of the inside of the colon as well as the rest of the abdomen and pelvis are obtained and reviewed at the same time.
Routine screening of the colon should begin at age 50 (age 40 for individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer or other diseases of the bowel).
Is there a cost?
The cost may be reimbursable under certain extended health benefit plans or health spending accounts.
$675 Ã??Â?MIC offers virtual colonoscopies on a patient-pay basis
Virtual Colonoscopy flythrough
MIC has prepared a short video explaining how virtual colonoscopy examinations work.
What to expect
- The success of your virtual colonoscopy depends on following all of the instructions you are given.
- MIC will provide you with all of the necessary dietary information and medications that you require to prepare for your exam.
- The technologist begins by positioning you on the CT examination table, usually lying flat on your back or less commonly, on your side or on your stomach.
- A very small, flexible tube will be passed two inches into your rectum to allow CO2 to be gently pumped into the colon. The purpose of the gas is to distend the colon as much as possible to eliminate any folds or wrinkles that might obscure polyps from the radiologist’s view. You may experience some discomfort, much like abdominal cramps or a feeling of fullness. This only lasts for a few minutes during the procedure.
- The entire examination is usually completed within 15 minutes.
- After your virtual colonoscopy, you can return to your normal diet and activities.
- The radiologist will review all of the images and provide a complete report to your practitioner, usually within 24 hours.