CT Virtual Colonography

CT Virtual Colonography is an examination of the large bowel. It involves the introduction of carbon dioxide gas into the colon via a small flexible tube inserted into the rectum. The gas distends the colon and scans are taken using the CT scanner with the patient lying on their back and on their stomach. This allows for a detailed investigation of all areas of the colon.

Overview

CT virtual colonography is used to image the large bowel, and in cases when a conventional colonoscopy has not been successful. CT virtual colonography is used to diagnose colon and bowel disease including polyps and cancer.

Following the introduction of gas inside the bowel, we perform the CT scan which provides us with the ability to construct 3D images of the colon.

Preparing for a CT Virtual Colonography

Please bring your referral (letter from your practitioner) and your Medicare and/or Pension Healthcare card with you to your appointment. It is important to bring all previous imaging relating to the region being scanned.

A good bowel preparation is essential for this examination. A two-day diet and laxative preparation is undertaken. You will need to collect your bowel preparation kit before your CT virtual colonography. It is essential that the bowel is as clear as possible otherwise, the examination may need to be repeated.

Before the scan, a small injection of Buscopan may be given to relax the bowel wall muscles.

Scanning

Carbon dioxide gas is introduced into the colon via a small flexible tube inserted into the rectum. The gas distends the colon and may cause slight abdominal discomfort.

After the scans are taken, the tube will be removed from the rectum. Carbon dioxide is more comfortable for the patient than air, so any discomfort will pass quickly and normal activities can be resumed.

Results

CT virtual colonography requires detailed processing of data from the scans. Results are usually available on the afternoon of the examination which usually takes place in the morning.

Synergy Radiology strongly advises that you return to your practitioner, in order for your doctor to discuss your radiology report with you.

We understand that some patients are anxious about having tests performed. If you do have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask our staff.

FAQs

What is CT Colonography?
CT colonography often referred to as virtual colonoscopy, is a CT scan designed to simulate a colonoscopy to look for large bowel polyps and cancers.

Does it require bowel cleansing?
Yes. Bowel cleansing preparation is the same as for a colonoscopy. You will need to follow the two-day preparation kit instructions provided.

Can I continue my medication before a CT Virtual Colonography?
Yes, all medication can be continued.

How long will the CT Virtual Colonography scan take?
The examination usually takes approximately 10-30 minutes to perform.  Please inquire when you make your appointment.

Can I eat and drive after a CT Virtual Colonography?
You have no restrictions after having a CT virtual colonography and can go about your normal activities.

Do I have to take my clothes off for my CT Virtual Colonography?
You will need to change into a gown.

Will the radiographer performing my scan, be able to tell me the results?
It is the radiographer’s duty to perform the test and ensure the images are clear for the radiologist (specialist) to interpret them.