Virtual colonoscopy

Virtual Colonoscopy




Virtual colonoscopy, also known as computerized tomography (CT) colonography, is a procedure using combination of x rays and computer technology to create images of the rectum and entire colon.  Virtual colonoscopy can show irritated and swollen tissue, ulcers, and polyps—extra pieces of tissue that grow on the lining of the intestine.

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Virtual colonoscopy diagnose

  • changes in bowel habits
  • abdominal pain
  • bleeding from the anus
  • weight loss


Advantages and Disadvantages



Virtual Colonoscopy Procedure

Patient will usually be requested taking laxatives or other oral agents at home, day before the procedure to clean stool from colon.  Also patient may  be asked using a suppository to cleanse the rectum of any remaining fecal matter.

Virtual Colonoscopy takes place in the radiology department.  The examination takes about 10 minutes and does not require sedatives.

During the procedure:

  • Patient will lie on his back on a table
  • A thin tube will be inserted into rectum with air pumped through the tube to inflate the colon for better viewing
  • The table moves through the scanner to produce a series of 2D cross-sections along the length of the colon.  A computer program integrade these images together creating a 3D picture that can be viewed on the video screen
  • Patient will be required holding breath during the scan to avoid distortion on the images
  • The scanning procedure is then repeated with stomach lying on the table

After examination the data from the scanner must be processed to create the computer picture or image of colon.  A radiologist evaluates the results to identify any abnormalities.

Patient may resume normal activity after the procedure.  If abnormalities are found patient needs to perform conventional colonoscopy.  It may be performed in the same day.


Virtual Colonoscopy
Mayo Clinic


Virtual Colonoscopy: Principals and Techniques:
Part 1


Virtual Colonoscopy: Principals and Techniques:
Part 2




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