It’s a well-known fact that our bodies are fragile, especially when sick. Sickness is usually caused by two things: lifestyle or an underlying issue. Sickness caused by specific lifestyles is relatively easier to manage, but those caused by underlying issues can be challenging. Because of this, one must take scans to know if they’re suffering from anything, even if they don’t feel it. One perfect example of this is a virtual colonoscopy.
A virtual colonoscopy is an X-ray that looks for sores (ulcers), growths (polyps), and cancer in the colon and rectum. The colon and rectum are parts of the large intestine that helps digest food. Understandably, if these two body parts have problems, they can spread to the rest of the body, making virtual colonoscopy vital. However, not many people know the details, so we’ll discuss them in this article.
When Should You Get It?
Ideally, you should get a virtual colonoscopy when you hit age 45 because this is when your body starts to age, and you need to take preventative measures. People who have a family history of colon cancer may also need it earlier.
There are factors when one should get a virtual colonoscopy. These include:
- A history of colorectal cancer within the family.
- Genetic conditions increase the risk of getting colon polyps or colorectal cancer.
- Inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis.
The Difference between Virtual Colonoscopy and Traditional Colonoscopy
In many ways, virtual and traditional colonoscopies are different. Polyp removal is included during traditional colonoscopy, but it won’t be possible in a virtual setting because you’ll need to do it traditionally to remove them.
Here are some other differences:
- Traditional colonoscopy requires sedation or anesthesia to ensure that you’ll be relaxed or asleep during the procedure. On the other hand, sedation or anesthesia isn’t necessary during a virtual colonoscopy so that you can resume your regular activities after the test.
- A colonoscopy takes up to 90 minutes or longer when polyps are removed. Virtual colonoscopy only takes about 15 minutes.
- Traditional colonoscopy uses a colonoscope to look inside your colon. Images from a CT scan are used for virtual colonoscopy, and the pictures are taken from outside your body.
Preparing for a Virtual Colonoscopy
Again, you don’t need to be sedated or put under anesthesia to get a virtual colonoscopy. However, you still need to prepare yourself to ensure there are no risks to the procedure. These preparations include:
- Not eating or drinking anything two hours before the test.
- Getting a suppository if you need to the night before the test.
- Remember to drink a lot of water two days before the test.
- Getting a colon cleanse the day before the test. This will help in making the test easier.
Our team will ensure you are prepared for your virtual colonoscopy. Proper instruction will be provided prior to your appointment.
What to Expect During a Virtual Colonoscopy
During a virtual colonoscopy, the steps are usually as follows:
- Change into a hospital gown and lie down on the table.
- The technician will insert a short tube about 2 inches into your rectum. This tube pumps some air into your colon, inflating it to make it easier to see details.
- The table will slowly slide you into the CT scanner, which makes buzzing or clicking sounds when it takes pictures of your colon.
- The technician will talk to you via the intercom. They may ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds or change positions to get a clearer view of your colon.
- Once done, the table slides you out of the scanner. The tube from your rectum will be removed, and you will get dressed.
After the test, you can go back to normal activities and eat and drink as you normally would. However, you may have excess gas from the air pumped into your colon. This is normal, and the gas may cause some cramping or bloating.
Getting a virtual colonoscopy is an excellent idea if you’re worried about colorectal cancer. It can help you get a clear picture of your colon without the pain and discomfort that a traditional colonoscopy can cause, so you shouldn’t worry. All that matters is working with trained healthcare professionals so that you’ll get accurate results.
Craft Body Scan provides top-quality services for virtual colonoscopy. We understand the needs of our patients, so our health professionals will ensure that you get the best results according to our findings so that you’ll know the following steps to take. Simply call 918-879-6161 to book an appointment!