What are the different types of Virtual Colonoscopy?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 08, 2011

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Quick Bites

  • There are two types of virtual colonoscopy.
  • Colon cancer is very common in men and women.
  • The two processes look for colon polyps in the colon.
  • The process has lesser risks, and can be very effective.

Modern sciences have brought us on the threshold of things that were not even dreamt of in the past. Virtual colonoscopy happens to be one such gem which is used to screen for colon cancer.

The technique of virtual colonoscopy used computerised tomographic scan, which in lay man’s term is known as CT scan or the Magnetic Resonance Imaging, commonly known as MRI scan. This is a three dimensional x-ray which constructs virtual images of the colon and is similar to the views of colon which is obtained by direct observation by optical colonoscopy. Colon cancer, which is the third most common cancer in men and women can very much be screened and thereby controlled in this way. Virtual colonoscopy finds colon polyps which can be then removed; otherwise these polyps would turn into cancer.

ct scan for virtual colonoscopy

Why Virtual Colonoscopy?

The simplest explanation for this is that it is done to find colon polyps and avoid the risk of colon cancer. There is another type of colonoscopy which is older but a common type, known as conventional colonoscopy. This is done by placing a long, flexible, lighted scope and a tiny camera into the colon so that the doctors can look.

But now, the colon polyps can be viewed by using MRI or CT scan. There are many advantages of having a virtual colonoscopy. The process of virtual colonoscopy is less uncomfortable than the process used earlier.  It also takes less time and poses less risk of puncturing the large intestine in your body. The process could be used in people who are suffering from a problem such as swelling, bleeding or breathing. Virtual colonoscopy is also pretty successful in reaching the areas of large intestine.

mri scan for colonoscopy

The Types

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – this is a nuclear magnetic resonance imaging or tomography that is used in radiology in order to investigate the human anatomy and the body’s function. This process is successful in finding out diseases that the body is suffering from.

Computerised Tomographic Scan (CT Scan) – this process is a combination of a series of x-ray views which are taken from different angles, and computer processing in order to create cross sectional images of the human anatomy.  The process is very helpful in finding colon polyps that could lead to colon cancer.

The process of Virtual Colonoscopy is rather easy and patients can return to normal life immediately after returning home. You should ask your health care provider and the staff of radiology any question that you may have regarding the process of virtual colonoscopy. This will help you to understand better.

Image Courtesy: gettyimages.in

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