Our Services | CT

Nearby Locations - Virtual Colonoscopy

Virtual Colonoscopy

Virtual colonoscopy, also called a CT colonography scan, offers a less invasive alternative to traditional colonoscopy. Instead of a colonoscope, a CT scanner and computer program create 2D and 3D images of the interior of the colon. Like traditional colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy helps evaluate your colon for polyps and early signs of colon cancer.

Discuss your colon cancer screening options with your doctor to decide whether virtual colonoscopy is right for you.

What You Need To Know

Virtual colonoscopy may be appropriate for those:

  • Over 50 years old
  • With a family history of colorectal cancer
  • Unable to complete a traditional colonoscopy

Discuss with your doctor when you should have your first colonoscopy.

  • Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant, nursing, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
  • Virtual colonoscopy does not require sedation.
  • If you plan to have any polyps that are found removed the same day, you will need to refrain from eating or drinking until you are contacted by us. You will also need to ween off blood thinners 4-7 days prior to your procedure. Talk with your provider if you plan to have polyps removed the same day.
  • Our clinical teams are committed to capturing high-quality diagnostic images using the appropriate amount of radiation for you. While you are exposed to radiation during a CT exam, the benefits typically outweigh the long-term risks.

What To Expect

  • We’ll give you a call before your appointment to talk through preparation instructions, which will include stopping into our center to pick up a liquid prep kit, and your past imaging exams.
  • Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant, nursing, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
  • On the day of your exam, please arrive 15 minutes early for check-in. If instructed to do so, please bring prior imaging results with you.
  • When you arrive, you will be led to a changing room and given a pair of scrubs to wear for your exam. You will be given a locker to store your clothes, and anything else you may have with you during your exam.
  • The technologist will help position you onto the scanner table. The technologist will insert a small tube into your rectum to fill your colon with carbon dioxide. Inflating the colon is necessary to capture better images and detect small polyps.
  • Once you are comfortably positioned, the technologist will go out of the room to run the scanner from a computer located directly next to the scanner suite, visible through the viewing window. The technologist will communicate with you throughout the exam and check to see how you are doing.
  • When your scan is complete, you’ll be escorted back to the changing room so you can change out of the scrubs and back into your clothing.
  • Once you have changed, your appointment is complete. You do not need to check out with the front desk when you leave.
  • After the exam, your images will be sent electronically to a radiologist who will review the information and send a report to your referring provider, typically within one to two business days.
  • You should follow up with your referring provider to discuss your results.