CT Colonography (Virtual Colonoscopy)

A noninvasive alternative for colon cancer screening

Also called virtual colonoscopy, CT colonography is a screening for colon cancer that is noninvasive and requires no sedation. It is one of the options recommended by the American Cancer Society for patients who meet the criteria for colon cancer screenings.  Since there is no sedation or invasive exam, there is no recovery period required. Patients can immediately resume normal activities after a virtual colonoscopy and do not need a driver to take them home.

CT colonography harnesses the powerful image-processing capabilities of CT scanners to create 3D images of the inside and outside of the entire colon. Radiologists can navigate through the image and look for polyps, possible cancers, and other abnormalities in the colon, in an examination process that, visually, is very similar to a colonoscopy.

Unlike traditional colonoscopies, CT colonography also enables physicians to examine images of the outside of the colon to check for abnormalities. CT colonography can also be used as an adjunct exam when an initial colonoscopy screening was unable to completely visualize the right side of the colon.

The exam takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Visit the American Cancer Society’s website to review their recommendations on who should have a colon cancer screening and when.