A virtual colonoscopy, also known as CT colonography, is a procedure used to detect abnormalities found in the colon such as bleeding, diverticulosis or colon cancer. It’s also used to locate polyps and growths of tissue on the inside lining that may be precancerous.
The procedure uses a computed typography (CT) scan to produce images of the large intestine. Afterward, the computer combines the images to produce two and three-dimensional interior views.
(Download our free guide: 5 Abnormalities Doctors Look for in a Colonoscopy)
Compared to a traditional colonoscopy, this method uses very different tools and processes to retrieve this type of information. In today’s blog, we’ll be discussing the benefits of virtual colonoscopy and how this non-invasive scan can be implemented in your annual health routine.
Reasons for a Virtual Colonoscopy
Colonoscopies, both traditional and virtual are used to diagnose various diseases, including cancer, in the colon and rectum. A virtual colonoscopy allows your doctor to identify areas of abnormality containing polyps or tumors. The reason for these tests is to detect colon cancer at its earliest stages so it can be treated more easily.
Its Benefits Over Traditional Colonoscopy
A traditional colonoscopy is performed in a hospital but is an outpatient procedure while a virtual colonoscopy can be performed in various healthcare facilities. Compared to conventional colonoscopy, a virtual test only takes 10 to 15 minutes complete and doesn’t require you to be sedated.
Here are some other benefits of going virtual:
- Because it doesn’t require the use a colonoscope, it’s a much more comfortable procedure.
- Because it doesn’t require medicine or sedation, you can resume normal activity immediately afterward.
- A conventional colonoscopy takes 30-60 minutes, while virtual only last about 10-15 minutes.
- A virtual colonoscopy allows the doctor to examine your colon for constriction caused by swelling or abnormal growth.
- There’s less risk of tearing or perforation to the large intestine compared to traditional colonoscopy.
- In some cases, it can be used for people with swelling, bleeding or breathing problems who cannot forgo conventional colonoscopy.
- A virtual colonoscopy may be able to show areas of the intestine that a regular colonoscope can’t reach, if a part of the intestine is narrowed or blocked.
The American Cancer Society advises that you begin screening for colon cancer at the age of 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer, you may be advised to participate in screenings earlier. They also advise screening every five years for people who’ve had a virtual colonoscopy.
If you’re at a high risk of colon cancer, your doctor will set up a screening schedule for you. Some of these risk factors also include cases of diabetes, obesity, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Both virtual and conventional colonoscopy methods have their pros and cons, so it’s important that you’re aware of their distinct differences. If you have any questions about the procedure or would like to schedule a health scan, reach out to us anytime at (918) 879-6161!
A colonoscopy can be intimidating. But, a virtual one doesn’t have to be.
In this free guide, we explain key differences between conventional and virtual colonoscopy screenings as well as the five abnormalities doctors are looking for. Click below to access your free copy of the guide now.