What is a Virtual Colonscopy?

The New Option in Colon Cancer Screening

In 2008, the American Cancer Society endorsed virtual colonoscopy, (VC), as an effective screening tool for colon cancer.

“Early detection can save lives!”

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A Less Invasive Colonoscopy

Imagine, instead of undergoing an invasive procedure with a colonoscope and being under sedation, and after a major bowel preparation, you now have an option—the quicker, gentler, minimally invasive procedure at Front Range Preventive Imaging, a Virtual Colonoscopy, or VC.

The Preparation

As with conventional colonoscopy, VC requires a cleansing of the colon. However, the “prep” for a VC is not as intensive as the prep for a conventional. Basically, it consists of taking a stool softener, some milk of magnesia, drinking 8 oz. of magnesium citrate, and then spending a half day on clear liquids of your choice. A dilute barium solution is also given to tag any stool or fluid remaining in the colon. Our technologists will explain the preparation to you and provide you with what you need for this stage of the procedure.

Dr. Blanchet, MD on Prep for a Virtual Colonoscopy

The Procedure

When you arrive at Front Range, you will change into a gown. A small disposable tube is inserted a short way into the rectum to inflate the colon with carbon dioxide. There are no dyes, no sedation, and no IV is required. A reduced radiation CAT scan is taken, first with the patient lying on their back, and again with the patient lying on their stomach.

The Imaging

The images are sent to a special workstation and imaging reconstruction is performed using the Viatronix system. This is the most advanced and accurate 3D rendering technology ever developed for CT colon examination. The Viatronix provides a record of the procedure in 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional, and video format.

The images are reviewed by experienced, Board Certified radiologists and, when present, polyps are measured. Any findings on organs outside of the colon are also noted. The Viatronix software allows review of 100% of the colon surface, something that is not accomplished with conventional invasive colon exams. A detailed, full color report is then created for the patient and doctor, if requested

The entire procedure takes less than 30 minutes. Afterward, you can drive yourself home, or go directly back to work. There is no recovery time needed. Virtual Colonoscopy vs. Traditional Colonscopy

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