In the Virtual Colonoscopy, a CT scanner is used to produce two and three dimensional images of the entire bowel or map of the entire colon.
Prior to your procedure, you will be asked to pick up a preparation kit that will help you cleanse your bowels. Kits typically include oral contrast agents, which are special materials that will coat your colon. These contrast agents are essential for the exam as they make the pictures much clearer for the radiologist. You will also be asked to take a laxative and restrict your diet to clear liquids the day before the examination.
During the procedures, you will be asked to lie down on your side (or back) on the CT scanner table. To distend your bowels, a nurse or technologist will administer CO2 gas by placing a small soft tube inside your rectum. Images will then be taken.
Once the procedure is complete, the radiologist will analyze the pictures and send the report to your referring physician. You may return to your normal activities immediately.
Although virtual colonoscopy is an effective option, it is not necessarily the best option for every patient. Your doctor can help determine whether virtual colonoscopy is the right option for you.