What Preparation is Required Before a Virtual Colonoscopy?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 21, 2014

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Quick Bites

  • Virtual colonoscopy is a test to detect cancer of the large intestine.
  • People who are 50 years of age undergo the test.
  • Doctor will be instructing the person about their diet before the test.
  • A night before the test, the person may be asked to stop eating.

What is Virtual Colonoscopy?

Virtual colonoscopy is a test conducted to detect cancer of the large intestine. This test also needs the same pre-test bowel preparation as colonoscopy. However, during virtual colonoscopy a person does not require sedation or a scope to the colon.

In virtual colonoscopy, a CT scan is used to produce numerous cross-sectional images of the abdominal organs. The images are then combined to examine the inside of the colon and rectum.

Virtual Colonoscopy Preparation

Why is Virtual Colonoscopy Done?

Virtual colonoscopy is used to detect colon cancer in people who are 50 years of age and are at an average risk of the disease. Many studies have shown that virtual colonoscopy has detection rates similar to colonoscopy for cancer and most types of polyps.

Virtual colonoscopy is also used for testing the enlargement of major blood vessels in the abdomen.

Virtual Colonoscopy Preparation

How to Prepare for Virtual Colonoscopy?

Before the virtual colonoscopy the person is asked to empty the colon because if there is anything inside the colon, it can obstruct the images taken during the examination.
To clear the colon, the doctor may instruct you to do the following things:

Special diet before the exam: The person will be asked to skip meals on that day. Consumption of liquids may be made limited for the day. Your diet may be made restricted till midnight.

Taking a laxative the night before test: you may be asked to use suppository to clean the residue from the colon.

Take medication to find stool in the colon: this medication will help the doctor to differentiate between colon and stool residue.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

Read more on Virtual Colonoscopy.

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