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.
Your exam will typically require you to lie first on your back and then on your stomach. The padded table 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. We recommend for this exam to wear loos fitting clothes, you will be asked to put on a patient gown.
We will ask you to remain as still as possible, and to hold your breath for up to 25 seconds. The Exam will take approximately 30 minutes. At the conclusion of the exam you will be able to drive yourself home.
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. You will be expelling the gas used to distend your colon over the next few hours.) Colorectal cancer screening compliance can significantly lower risk of colon cancer.
The appointment time is approximately 30 minutes, with each of the two image sets are acquired in 30 seconds or less. One set on your back and the second on your stomach.
How Do I Prepare for the CT Colonography Examination?
A few days before your procedure you need need to pick up your prep kit with instructions prior to the exam at our 220 Kennedy drive location. When you arrive one of our Cat Scan staff will review the instructions with you. 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. Checking with your insurance carrier is recommended. The current procedure code is 74263, and should be referenced to determine if the procedure is a covered benefit. If you are concerned about coverage call your insurance carrier, the number is on the back of your insurance card.
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.