During virtual colonoscopy, standard CT images of the abdomen are taken while special software converts the images into a three-dimensional moving picture of the inside of the colon. A specially trained radiologist uses the images to look for polyps and abnormalities. It is a non-invasive, outpatient procedure.
Virtual colonoscopy has been shown to be an effective examination in detecting clinically significant colon polyps and cancers. In fact, the US Preventive Services Task Force recently gave virtual colonoscopy an “A” rating in the detection of colon cancer—recognizing it as a viable alternative to traditional colonoscopy. Greensboro Imaging uses a system called Viatronix™, also used in the largest screening trial in the U.S., which had the highest polyp detection rate of any virtual colonoscopy trial published to date.
After the procedure, there is no need for recovery from sedation, as with a traditional colonoscopy. Patients resume normal activities, such as eating, walking and driving, immediately following the procedure.
Every day, DRI strives to ensure patients have the best possible experience before, during and after their exams and procedures. It shows in patient feedback.
Having a virtual colonoscopy is your best option. After only 10 minutes, I’m glad to know that my colon cancer screening is complete.
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A cleansing bowel preparation is necessary prior to a virtual colonoscopy procedure. Solid material in the colon makes it impossible to identify small polyps. A virtual colonoscopy begins by placing a small flexible rubber tube in the rectum, so that air can be used to expand the colon. While most patients are comfortable during the procedure, some can expect to feel a gas-like fullness. This feeling lasts less than 10 minutes and is gone completely by the end of the exam.
Patients lie comfortably on their back and then turn over onto their stomach while the images are being taken. The procedure takes about 30 minutes. Because sedation is not required, patients do not require post-procedure observation or recovery.
Virtual colonoscopy should now be covered by most private insurers and Medicare. Review the insurance page for more information.