One of the early indications of possibly developing colon cancer is when abnormal growths in the colon known as polyps (usually not harmful) become cancerous. CT colonoscopy (sometimes referred to as virtual colonography) uses a low-dose CT scan to detect polyps and remove them when necessary. The procedure does not require sedation, and therefore safe and is much more comfortable than a conventional colonoscopy exam. Our state-of-the-art 64 slice Somatom Definition AS CT scan allows us to detect even minute abnormalities providing very clear and detailed images.
A very small, flexible tube will be passed two inches into your rectum to allow air to be gently pumped into the colon. An electronic pump is used to deliver carbon dioxide gas into the colon. The purpose of the gas is to distend the colon as much as possible to eliminate any folds or wrinkles that might hide polyps from the physician’s view.
Next, the table will move through the scanner. Patients are asked to hold their breath for about 15 seconds or less before turning over and lying on their back or side for a second pass that is made through the scanner.
The entire examination is usually completed within 15 minutes.