Unlike traditional colonoscopy, where the procedure involves a scope being inserted into one’s rectum and through the colon, a virtual colonoscopy is a new non-invasive procedure that uses a CT (computed tomography) scanner to identify polyps or other changes in the colon. A CT scanner combines large amounts of X-rays into a single image, which is then examined by a radiologist.
Receiving a virtual colonoscopy is a quick and easy way to get screened for colon cancer. If you are preparing for your upcoming virtual colonoscopy, you are likely concerned about the preparation process and the results. Despite its non-invasive nature, the steps involved in preparing for the procedure will be relatively the same. So, here’s what to know when preparing for a virtual colonoscopy.
What to Consider When Preparing for a Virtual Colonoscopy
To help you best prepare for your virtual colonoscopy, here are some of the major things you should consider beforehand.
1. Be Sure to Ask About Your Medications Before the Procedure to Avoid Negative Drug Interactions
Before having a virtual colonoscopy, it is important to ask whether or not you should take any medication prior to the procedure. Certain drugs may interfere with the procedures, and you will want to avoid any complications. Your doctor will also want to know your complete medical history to ensure the procedure will be safe.
2. Keep Your Doctor Up-to-Date with Your Condition
If you have heart, liver, kidney disease, or have previously gone through colon surgery, it’s important to let your doctor know as he or she may assess whether the bowel preparation is viable for you. Similarly, you need to keep your doctor or technologist if you are pregnant or if you suspect it.
3. Prepare All the Necessary Supplies and Laxatives
The primary preparation step involves taking laxatives. There are a variety of laxatives that can be purchased at the pharmacy. Your doctor will advise you on which laxatives are right for you to take, but generally, you will need the following:
- 10 oz. bottle of Magnesium Citrate (Citroma);
- Four 5 mg bisacodyl oral tablets (commonly sold as Carter’s Little Pills or Dulcolax);
- 10 mg bisacodyl suppository (commonly sold as Dulcolax, Fleet Bisacodyl, or Magic Bullet);
Be sure to keep these laxatives in a cool and dry place, as leaving them somewhere warm can compromise their usability.
4. Avoid Eating Certain Foods Three Days Before the Virtual Colonoscopy
Bearing in mind your doctor has advised you on which laxatives to take, you should avoid eating any of the following foods three days before your upcoming virtual colonoscopy as these are hard to digest, which might compromise the results of your VC.
- Raw fruits and vegetables. You can have vegetables that are cooked or canned.
- Whole kernel corn, including canned corn
- Potato skins
- Whole grains (such as oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, or wheat bread)
- Seeds (such as poppy or sesame)
5. Avoid Solid Food One Full Day Before the Virtual Colonoscopy
A day before the virtual colonoscopy, you need to be on a liquid-only diet and follow the recommended instructions given by your doctor.
The Bottom Line: The Importance of Preparing Properly for Your Virtual Colonoscopy
Preparing for your virtual colonoscopy might seem like a daunting task, but the truth is, it is not difficult. If you take the time to follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter, you can ensure the procedure will be accurate and successful.
Are You Looking for a Preventative Body Scan in Tulsa?
Now that you know how to prepare for a virtual colonoscopy, Craft Body Scan is here to help you get one.
If you or someone you love is in need of colorectal cancer treatment in Oklahoma City, call the Craft Body Scan today to set up an appointment for colon scans and learn more about our innovative treatment options. We strive to stay on top of your health and catch any abnormalities that are easy to overlook.