Oct
06
2007

Virtual colonoscopy

Want to avoid a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy
The dreaded colonoscopy procedure often comes up in conversation amongst people of my age group (55+ yrs). Worse than the procedure, seems to be the drinking laxatives to purge the bowel. Now having an X-ray to look for signs of colon cancer may soon be an option for those who dread the traditional scope exam.

9 out of 10 could avoid dreaded colonoscopy

In one study, only 8 percent of patients had to have followup traditional colonoscopies, which are done under sedation and carry a small risk of puncturing the bowel.

Virtual colonography uses a CT scanner to take a series of X-rays of the colon and a computer to create a 3-D view. A small tube is inserted in the rectum to inflate the colon so it can be more easily viewed. A radiologist then checks the images for suspicious polyps. Since the patient isn't sedated, there's no recovery time required. Associated Press

Most insurance companies don't cover virtual colonoscopy for screening but that could change if colon cancer screening guidelines endorse it.

Read the research

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