CT Colonography

Download PDF file

What is CT Colonography or Virtual Colonoscopy?
Advanced Medical Imaging offers Virtual Colonoscopy which utilizes our state of the art multi-slice CT technology to examine the colon to detect cancers or precancerous polyps. Virtual Colonoscopy requires the placement of a small flexible tube into the rectum. Carbon dioxide is then passed though the tube to expand the folds of the colon. You may experience a mild temporary discomfort, but should not feel any pain.

For your examination you will lie comfortably on your back /stomach on a padded table that will move through the scanner as the CT tube rotates around you. Depending on the reason for the study, you may receive an intravenous injection of “contrast” material.

You will be asked to remain as still as possible, which includes holding your breath for up to 20-25 seconds. You will be in the room for approximately 30 minutes. A large portion of this time is for discussion of the procedure and instructions.

Am I a candidate for Virtual Colonoscopy?
Virtual colonoscopy is recommended for both men and women over age 40 with a family history of colorectal cancer and for anyone over age 50 regardless of risk factors. The best candidates for Virtual Colonoscopy are those who have had an incomplete colonoscopy, low-to-average risk patients who prefer not to have a colonoscopy, frail patients and patients who are unable to tolerate a colonoscopy. . It is not for people with known colon cancer, colon cancer symptoms, or previously removed colon polyps.

What Are the Benefits of a CT Colonography?
No sedation is needed. (patients can drive to and from work/home after the procedure). Ask President Obama who opted for this procedure over a conventional colonoscopy.

Colorectal cancer screening compliance stands at about 55% of eligible adults. CT colonography could increase the colon cancer screening rate.

Significantly lower risk of colonic perforation

Although the appointment time is 30 minutes, all images are acquired in 30 seconds or less.

How Do I Prepare for the CT Colonography Examination?
You will be provided a prep kit with instructions prior to the exam. Our staff will review these instructions with you to ensure adequate preparation. As with colonoscopy, adequate preparation impacts exam quality. You will also be given a barium substance designed to label any residual stool to help our doctors differentiate polyps from stool.

Is CT Colonography Examination Safe?
Yes. Radiation exposure is minimal. No needles, injections, or sedations are used.

Is CT Colonography Examination Covered by Insurance?
No. CT Colonography is currently not covered by most insurance carriers. Often, people are reimbursed through their flexible medical spending accounts. However, medicare and most carriers will reimburse for this procedure if the optical colonoscopy is incomplete for a variety of reasons. The cost of this procedure is $795.

Do I Need a Physician's Referral for the CT Colonography Examination?
Yes. We strongly urge patients to discuss this study with their primary care physician. Please do not hesitate to call us for questions at 860-489-7314.