Virtual colonoscopy is a medical imaging procedure that uses a CT exam to create high-resolution images of the colon. It is used in detecting polyps and cancer in the colon.
Virtual Colonoscopy is as accurate as conventional colonoscopy for the detection of polyps 10 mm and larger and can identify polyps as small as 3 to 4 mm.
What should I bring to my appointment?
Your insurance card and a valid photo ID.
Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete registration.
How should I prepare for my exam?
Preparation for this exam starts two days before your appointment to cleanse your colon in order to optimize detection of any polyps. Your healthcare provider will give you a prep kit, which contains instructions. If you did not receive this kit from your healthcare provider, you may pick one up from Suburban Imaging Southdale. The kit should be obtained at least 3 days prior to your exam.
Let us know about any of the following:
Pregnancy - known or possible
Recent chemotherapy (within 30 days)
How long will my exam take?
A virtual colonoscopy typically takes less than 20 minutes.
What happens during my exam?
You will be positioned on a cushioned table. A small, flexible rubber tube will be placed in your rectum and removed when the exam in completed. This tube allows for carbon dioxide to inflate the colon. The purpose of the carbon dioxide is to distend the colon to eliminate folds and wrinkles that may obscure the physician’s view.
The table will move slowly through the scanner for the CT exam. You will hear slight buzzing, clicking and whirling sounds as the scanner captures the images. The first series of images will be acquired while you lie on your back and a second series while on your stomach. This allows any fluid in the colon to move from one side to the other, creating the best possible pictures of the entire colon. For the best quality images, you will be asked to remain as still as possible during the exam.
What happens after my exam?
Your images will be interpreted by one of our board-certified radiologists. The findings will be sent to your healthcare provider who will then contact you to discuss the results.
This video clip shows a rendering of the colon from a virtual colonoscopy exam. Polyps as small as 3-4mm (less than 1/8 of an inch) can be identified with virtual colonoscopy.