What is a Virtual Colonoscopy Procedure

Have you been extremely tired lately or gaining weight even when you try to eat healthier? Have you been experiencing ear infections, irritability, or pain in your joints and muscles?

If so, you may need to make an appointment with your doctor to have a virtual colonoscopy. This procedure will help to determine whether you are susceptible to colon cancer, and will provide you with the information you need to improve your health as soon as possible.

Virtual Colonoscopy Effectiveness

The virtual colonoscopy process involves x-rays and computers, which are used to produce 3D and two-dimensional images of your large intestine, or colon. The picture will reveal what is inside your colon from the lowest part of the intestines, or the rectum, to the lower end of the small intestine.

You will be able to see all of this on the computer screen at the doctor's office as well, and the procedure can be done using a CAT scan or MRI.

When you get the x-ray, the doctor can then tell whether or not you have IBS irritable bowel syndrome, or if you are in the early stages of colon cancer. Fortunately, these conditions can be effectively treated if they are detected early, which are why regular checkups are so important.

Virtual Colonoscopy - What to Expect

When you arrive at the doctor for your virtual colonoscopy, you will be asked to lie on your back on a table, and a thin tube will be inserted into your rectum. Air is pumped through the tube so that the colon will be slightly inflated, which makes it easier for the doctor to check for abnormalities.

A computer program will compile the images of your colon, and you will have to hold your breath during the process in order to make sure that the images are not distorted. The scanning procedure is then repeated one last time, while you turn over and lie on your stomach.

Virtual Colonoscopy vs Regular Colonoscopy

In the past, colonoscopies that are more traditional were done to determine whether patients had colon cancer or need to have their colons cleansed. Virtual colonoscopy is more comfortable than the traditional method, and you will not have to be sedated for the process either. The images that the computer produces are also more detailed and easier for a doctor to study, so that polyps and other abnormalities can be detected sooner.

Once you receive your report, you will have to work out a realistic regimen with your doctor that may involve changes to your diet or an exercise program. It is also best to have polyps removed as soon as possible, and your doctor should be able to tell you how soon the procedure can take place.

More information on the virtual colonoscopy, can be found at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Page Updated: December 25, 2016
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