Virtual colonoscopy improvements

Why I am putting off my colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is an often dreaded procedure where a a fiber-optic camera is passed through the anus to look for polyps. The patient's colon is first cleaned out by ingesting a substance that makes you have more than a dozen bowel movements. Sometimes the probe punctures the colon requiring surgical repair.

Colorectal cancer causes 655,000 deaths worldwide per year. Early detection of growths or polyps in the colon can save many lives. But like many in the 50 - 60 year old population that are supposed to submit to this procedure, I am putting it off.

A friendlier way to look in my colon

A virtual colonoscopy promises to be a cheaper, less dangerous method of diagnosing colon and bowel diseases. Virtual colonoscopy can now provide a three dimensional view of the colon without the unpleasant use of powerful laxatives to clean out the bowels. Instead a meal tagged with a dense chemical, such as barium sulphate allows computer software to recognize the difference between flesh and feces. The computer filters out the feces data so the radiologists sees a clear, clean representation of the entire large intestine.

When a team lead by Jerome Liang at the State University of New York at Stony Brook tested its software on CT scans of 52 cancer patients, they found 24 polyps below 5 mm in size.

Liang will present his latest virtual colonoscopy research at the Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery conference in Barcelona, Spain, on June 27.

This virtual colonoscopy video is cool

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Aliecat's picture
Aliecat says:

I had a colonoscopy 2 years ago in an attempt to avoid abdominal surgery. The prep sucks, but you get tons of drugs for the procedure, so you don't remember much of it.

posted on Sun, 06/22/2008 - 8:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I had my first and last colonoscopy last week. Upon arrival at home I became dehydrated and had to go back to the hospital only to find out I had an intestinal infection also. I have been off work now for a week now (it was only to be one day) and sicker than I have ever been in my 51 years. I believe I will take my chances on the polps.

posted on Fri, 06/27/2008 - 12:04pm
Thor's picture
Thor says:

At a recent game, the Milwaukee Brewers gave away free colonoscopies to the first 500 male fans through the gates. I'm assuming they actually got the colonoscopy at a clinic at a later date. If not, that certainly had to be an interesting ticket line.

posted on Mon, 06/23/2008 - 7:45am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:


posted on Mon, 06/23/2008 - 8:34am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

I had to google Jumbotron - (A Jumbotron is a large-screen television technology developed by Sony, typically used in sports stadiums and concert venues to show close up ...)

The stadium crowd would probably think a virtual 3D tour of a colon on the big screen as interesting at first, but not 500 of them.

posted on Mon, 06/23/2008 - 9:12am
Thor's picture
Thor says:

Go to Yankee Stadium, look around to the left and right and you won't have to even look at the Jumbotron to see 500...oh wait, I guess I can't say that.

posted on Mon, 06/23/2008 - 9:37am
mdr's picture
mdr says:

ARTiFactor, where did you get the "dozen bowel movements" number? I had my first colonoscopy about a year and a half ago, and don't remember having to visit the bathroom that often. Maybe 4 or 5 tops. The prep was the worst part but wasn't really that bad at all.

And I wouldn't put off having it done. When I had mine the gastroenterologist discovered a rare cancerous tumor at the very beginning of my small intestine. Fortunately, the doctor had gone that far to confirm he was at the end of the large intestine – I was told that not every gastroenterologist does this. Anyway, the tumor had to be removed surgically, and lucky for me, was still fairly small and hadn’t metastasized. But had I put off the colonoscopy any longer, who knows what the outcome would have been? It probably saved my life.

posted on Mon, 06/23/2008 - 9:49am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Two good points Mark. Someone else who volunteers with me at the museum also says he is alive today because of his colonoscopy.

I took a cohort for his colonoscopy last year and he led me to believe that "dozen" times to the bathroom line. He was even uncertain we would make the 15 minute trip to the clinic without needing to make a stop.

I guess one could say that I pulled a number out of ....

posted on Mon, 06/23/2008 - 5:55pm
Healism's picture
Healism says:

I Want Colonoscopy for Cheap. It is possible to find low cost Colonoscopy if you explore medical tourism as an option. Doctors in Thailand are some of the best.

posted on Wed, 07/16/2008 - 1:33am

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