Average Risk Patients
The recommended age to begin colon cancer screening for “average risk” individuals is at age 50. For the average risk patient, the data shows that 92% of subjects who have a virtual colonoscopy require no additional testing or polyp removal.
If you are concerned about cancers and other pathology or diseases outside of the colon, virtual colonoscopy provides a look at other organs and can identify extra colonic findings such as live, kidney, aortic, or ovarian abnormalities.
Higher Risk Patients
People with a family history of colon cancer or other factors that might increase their risk should have the initial colon screen 5 to 10 years sooner.
If you have a condition that would make the presence of a polyp very likely, or if you have symptoms of inflammatory disease, you would be advised to have a conventional colonoscopy so that any significant polyps could be removed or a biopsy taken at the time of the procedure.
Patients on Certain Medications
For the person on Coumadin or other anticoagulants, virtual colonoscopy does not require that these medications be stopped for the procedure.
Patients with a Failed Conventional Colonoscopy
Virtual colonoscopy is a good choice for the person for whom the gastroenterologist was unable to complete the conventional colonoscopy due to the inability to advance the tube.
Convenience and/or Avoidance Issues
For the 60% of the population who have just never gotten around to having their colonoscopy, or those who do not have the time to give up an entire day or two for a screening procedure, virtual colonoscopy provides an ideal option.