Colonoscopy alternatives available from the Association of Alexandria Radiologists provide a less invasive way to screen for colon polyps. If you’ve been avoiding your colonoscopy, as many people do, you may be surprised to learn that there are colonoscopy alternatives that can provide the same quality in a way that is much more comfortable for you. Colonoscopy alternatives like virtual colonoscopy are best suited for low-to-average risk patients who prefer not to have a regular colonoscopy or for patients who are unable to tolerate a regular colonoscopy. Always talk to your doctor about the type of exam that is best for you.
Virtual Colonoscopy: Preparation
Preparation for a virtual colonoscopy is similar to a traditional colonoscopy. You must follow a bowel-emptying regimen the day before, which requires following a liquid diet, drinking plenty of water, and taking laxatives to clean out the colon. When the colon is clear of stool, the radiologist has an unobstructed view of all the tissue.
Virtual Colonoscopy Exam: What to Expect
During a virtual colonoscopy, a thin tube will be placed into your rectum to gently fill your colon with air. The air helps to eliminate any folds or wrinkles that could hide a polyp or other finding. You will be positioned on your back on the CT exam table, which will move through the CT scanner. Then images will be taken as you lie facedown. The entire exam takes only about 15 minutes and is well tolerated by nearly all patients.
Colonoscopy Alternatives: Benefits
When compared to a traditional colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy has many benefits including:
- No sedation or pain medication necessary
- No recovery time
- Less uncomfortable
- Less invasive
- Shorter exam time
Scheduling Your Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy alternatives, like virtual colonoscopy, can provide a more comfortable alternative for patients who can’t or don’t want to undergo a traditional colonoscopy. If you are age 50 or over, it’s time to think about the screening method that’s right for you. Talk to your doctor about virtual colonoscopy and book your appointment with the Association of Alexandria Radiologists.