Mar 25

Steps to Prepare for a Colon Scan

Far less invasive than a standard colonoscopy, a virtual colonoscopy via CT scanning is a welcome, non-invasive procedure that also accomplishes the goal of detecting any signs of colon cancer or other abnormalities. You might want to schedule a virtual colonoscopy if you’re uncomfortable proceeding with a regular colonoscopy or there is a medical issue that would put you at risk in a standard colonoscopy (risk of excess bleeding).

We offer virtual colon scans to patients, though just because it’s virtual doesn’t mean some personal preparation isn’t required. Many of the preparatory steps are similar to that of a standard colonoscopy.

Of course, if you schedule the scan with us, we’ll explain all the steps you’ll need to take in advance. However, this blog can be a helpful reference for you if you’re thinking about scheduling a virtual colon scan or wondering if a virtual colon scan is the right step for your health.

1. Inform Us of Any Potential Risks

To ensure the virtual colon scan proceeds without any complications, we need to be aware of any factors that might affect the procedure. The most important of these factors include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Allergies to medications
  • History of colon cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases, or other colon health concerns
  • Potential family history of colon cancer or inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Surgical history, especially if there is a history of colorectal surgery
  • Heart, kidney, or liver health concerns

You can expect questions about these factors and more, depending on your health assessment and documented medical history. We ask that you be as transparent as possible to facilitate a smooth scan without any risk to your health.

2. Diet Changes Before the Procedure

We ask that you do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before your colon scan. We also ask, the day before your colon scan, that you avoid solid foods altogether. This means eating or drinking water, juices, tea, broth, jello, and other non-solid foods.

In addition to these diet changes, you will also be asked to take the following:

  • Magnesium citrate
  • Bisacodyl tablets
  • Bisacodyl suppository

Exact directions and amounts will be provided before your scan.

3. Your Scan and Results

The procedure itself will only take a matter of minutes. A virtual colonoscopy will detect polyps similar to a traditional colonoscopy, which are often precursors to cancer. If you are of a particularly high risk of colon cancer due to family history or have a medical history of inflammatory bowel diseases, speaking with your doctor or specialist can help you determine what colon screening method would be most effective for your situation.

One distinct advantage of a virtual colon scan includes its ability to scan the general abdominal area in addition to the colon, potentially detecting abnormalities in the kidney, liver, or pancreas. Depending on what is detected, if anything, further testing might be required, but you will leave with additional information about your overall health.

Schedule a Colon Scan

Advanced Body Scan of Tulsa offers a variety of scans for the heart, lungs, and colon, among others. All scans are minimally invasive and take only a few minutes to complete, but can be crucial to detecting early signs of disease and working towards healthy outcomes. To schedule or ask about a scan, visit our website or call us at 918.879.6161.

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Colon Health

In this ebook, we discuss our selection of scans and when it might be beneficial for you to schedule one. We outline our process and what you can expect for each option, including results and reports.


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