Image Caption : Compare Six Views of a Virtual Colonoscopy : Virtual colonoscopy is a new technology that uses computerized tomography (CT) images to look for polyps and cancer in the colon. The result is a computer-generated, animated, three-dimensional view of the interior of the colon. The preparation for the procedure is similar to that for a colonoscopy, but the procedure itself takes only about 10 minutes, and no sedation is required. If abnormalities are found, a conventional colonoscopy is performed for removal or biopsy of the growth.
Colonoscopy is a procedure that lets your doctor look inside your entire large intestine. It uses an instrument called a colonoscope, or scope for short. Scopes have a tiny camera attached to a long, thin tube. The procedure lets your doctor see things such as inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, and ulcers.
Your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy:
- To look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. It may be part of a routine screening, which usually starts at age 50.
- To look for causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits
- To evaluate symptoms like abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, and weight loss
Your doctor can also remove polyps from your colon during a colonoscopy.
You need to be on a clear liquid diet for 1 to 3 days before the colonoscopy. During the procedure, you receive medicines to keep you relaxed.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
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