- CT or “Virtual” colonoscopy is a state of the art procedure in which a CT scanner, virtual reality computer software, and a specially trained Radiologist look inside the colon (large intestine) for polyps and cancers. Most patients report that the virtual colonoscopy is more comfortable than either the barium enema or conventional colonoscopy. Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths and can potentially be prevented if colon polyps are discovered and removed early. Individuals at greatest risk of developing colorectal cancer are over 50 and have a family history of colon cancer or polyps. Virtual colonoscopy is particularly useful for patients who have difficulty with traditional colonoscopy or who have had a failed traditional colonoscopy.
Get answers to some of the most common questions about virtual colonoscopy.
HOW IS A CT COLONOSCOPY PERFORMED?
At the time of your examination a small tube is placed in the rectum to inflate the colon with carbon dioxide, which is later easily absorbed by the body. A low radiation dose CT scan is performed while the patient lies on their back and then again on their stomach. The total time for the procedure is 10-20 minutes. A specially trained Radiologist analyzes both the 2D scans as well as the 3D “virtual reality” data that is created. The 3D images provide the appearance of driving through the inside of the colon with a small camera. Polyps or cancers are noted, measured and described using this roadmap. Patients can resume normal activities immediately after the procedure.
IS THIS PROCEDURE COVERED BY INSURANCE?
CT Virtual Colonoscopy is covered by most insurance plans. Call your carrier for verification of coverage. We are happy to assist patients with appropriate payment options for this procedure. We accept payment at the time of service or payment arrangements can be made through Imaging Associates before scheduling the procedure.
HOW DO I GET THE RESULTS?
A final report, produced by one of Alaska Radiology Associate’s local specialized radiologists, will be available for most exams within two hours. Questions about your results should be directed to your referring health care provider. For any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us directly.
WHO DO I CONTACT WITH QUESTIONS?
Questions about the results of your exam should be directed to your primary health care provider. For any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us directly.