Virtual Colonoscopy

Virtual Colonoscopy


An online colonoscopy can be used to recognize abnormalities inside your colon and rectum, that are both a part of your colon. Within this procedure, images of within your colon are obtained from outdoors the body.

A CT scan can be used to create the pictures of the colon. Following the scan, a pc combines the pictures of the colon to create 2-D and three-D interior views. An online colonoscopy may also be known as CT colonography.

In some instances, an MRI can be used rather of the CT scan.

An online colonoscopy along with a conventional colonoscopy use different tools to retrieve the pictures of the colon.

A standard colonoscopy utilizes a colonoscope. A colonoscope is really a lengthy, lighted tube having a small camera in the finish. It’s placed within your colon and rectum, and also the camera transmits pictures of the region to some video monitor.

Diagnostic purposes of an online colonoscopy

An online colonoscopy enables your physician to check out your colon and rectum to locate abnormal areas. Abnormalities which may be detected and diagnosed include:

  • diverticulosis, which in turn causes small pouches inside your digestive system
  • internal bleeding
  • polyps, that are growths of tissue inside your colon and rectum
  • tumors inside your abdomen or even the areas surrounding your kidney, liver, pancreas, or spleen (these organs lie near your colon)

colorectal cancer

If detected early, some polyps can be taken off before they become cancer. If cancer has already been present, it’s more prone to be cured if it is found early.

Screening strategies for colorectal cancer

The British Medicine Journal (BMJ) and also the American College of Physicians (ACP) both suggest that people at average chance of colorectal cancer start screening when they’re a minimum of fifty years old and prevent screening while in their 70s.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that individuals at average risk start screening when they’re a minimum of 45 years of age and prevent screening when they’re within their 70s or 80s.

The BMJ guidelines condition that getting a colonoscopy only once is enough for individuals at average risk. However, it normally won’t particularly mention the virtual colonoscopy.

However, the ACP and ACS suggest that people receiving virtual colonoscopies are screened every five years.

When you should screen more frequently

For those who have a greater chance of colorectal cancer, your physician will generate a screening agenda for you.

High-risks include getting:

  • a previous good reputation for polyps or colorectal cancer
  • inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • a household good reputation for polyps or colorectal cancer
  • diabetes
  • weight problems
  • You might begin regular screenings before you decide to achieve ages 45-50.

Perils of an online colonoscopy

The virtual colonoscopy is really a relatively recent screening tool, so more evidence is required to judge the harms and benefits.

However, there seem to be couple of risks connected having a virtual colonoscopy.

The environment released to your colon may cause you to feel bloated, however the feeling should dissipate when you pass the environment out of your body.

There is a really small risk that inflating your colon might cause injuries. The ACS views this risk to become reduced having a virtual colonoscopy than the usual conventional colonoscopy.

Response to the contrast agent

In rare instances, many people possess a negative response to the contrast agent that’s accustomed to highlight your colon.

Though uncommon, mild reactions may include:

  • stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation

Moderate to severe responses towards the contrast agent, though rare too, resemble a hypersensitive reaction:

  • hives or itching
  • breathlessness or swallowing
  • distress or confusion
  • rapid heartbeat
  • a bluish skin tone

Response to radiation

Like other kinds of CT scans, an online colonoscopy subjects you to definitely a tiny bit of radiation. Negative effects of radiation exposure include fatigue, hair thinning, and changes towards the skin (for example blistering).


To assist your physician obtain the clearest images, your colon and rectum should be emptied before an online colonoscopy. This really is known as bowel preparation (bowel prep).

To get this done, you’ll need to:

Consume a obvious liquid diet for one to three days prior to the exam.

Do not eat or consuming anything the night time prior to the exam.

Have a strong laxative, and perhaps a suppository, to assist obvious your bowels.

Have a contrast agent in pill form in your own home.

Inform your physician about any medications you’re taking a minimum of 7 days prior to the exam. This enables here we are at your physician to create any necessary changes for your medication schedule.


An online colonoscopy is definitely an outpatient procedure, but it’s usually performed inside a hospital.

You will not be looked into in to the hospital and may leave within 24 hours because the test. You will not be sedated either.

The exam takes about ten to fifteen minutes to accomplish. The testing process is really as follows:

If you are getting a CT virtual colonoscopy, you might be requested to consume a liquid contrast agent. In some instances, you might go ahead and take contrast in pill form in your own home.

A skinny, flexible tube is going to be put into your rectum.

For CT procedures, room air or co2 is gradually pumped in to the tube to inflate your rectum and permit for closer examination.

For MRI exams, a contrast agent that’s given rectally can be used to enlarge the region.

The table you’re laying on will slide in to the CT or MRI machine. Your physician may request you to hold your breath for any couple of moments to get a stable image.

You’ll have a minimum of 2 scans, each lasting about just a few seconds.

Following the exam, you can release the gas within the rest room.

You can go back to work or normal activities following the exam.

Benefits of an online colonoscopy versus. a standard colonoscopy

An online colonoscopy has some distinct advantages more than a conventional colonoscopy, for example:

An online colonoscopy takes about ten to fifteen minutes, while a standard colonoscopy takes about 15 to an hour.

An online colonoscopy might be much more comfortable for many people, because it doesn’t make use of a colonoscope.

Its not necessary a sedative throughout a virtual colonoscopy, whereas a standard colonoscopy usually requires one.

You are able to resume normal activities following a virtual colonoscopy, but people usually need time for you to get over the sedatives utilized in a standard colonoscopy.

An online colonoscopy has less chance of colon tearing, or perforation, than the usual conventional colonoscopy.

Disadvantages of the virtual colonoscopy versus. a standard colonoscopy

There’s a couple of disadvantages of the virtual colonoscopy:

An online colonoscopy isn’t as sensitive like a conventional colonoscopy for locating smaller sized polyps.

Your physician can’t remove a tissue sample or polyp utilizing a virtual colonoscopy. If your tissue sample is required, you’ll require a conventional colonoscopy.

Some medical health insurance plans might not cover an online colonoscopy.

Comprehending the outcomes of an online colonoscopy

After your virtual colonoscopy, a radiologist will take a look at CT scan or MRI images. In case your physician isn’t pleased with the pictures, you may want to repeat the process and have another kind of screening.

Should there be no abnormalities inside your colon, the virtual colonoscopy is negative.

Should there be any abnormalities or polyps, the exam is positive.

Your physician may recommend a standard colonoscopy in case your test answers are positive. In this procedure, abnormal tissue samples could be acquired and polyps can be taken off.

Virtual and traditional colonoscopies have their benefits and drawbacks. Make sure to speak to your physician about any queries you might have contributing to which procedure they recommend.