Virtual colonoscopy (VC) is an imaging or x-ray test that looks for cancer,
Colonoscopy - virtual; CT colonography
How the test is performed
A virtual colonoscopy is different from a regular
The test is performed in the radiology department of a hospital or medical center. No sedatives are needed and no scope is used.
You will lie on your left side on a narrow table that is connected to an
- Your knees will be up toward your chest. A small, flexible tube will be inserted into your rectum. Air is pumped through the tube to make the colon bigger and easier to see.
- After this is done, youâ€™ll be asked to lie on your back.
- Next, the table slides into a large tunnel through the machine, where x-rays create images of your colon.
- You must stay very still during this procedure, since movement can blur the pictures. You may be asked to hold your breath briefly while each picture is taken.
A computer combines all the images to form three-dimensional pictures of the colon, which are viewed on a video monitor.
Pictures are also taken while you lie on your stomach.
The exam takes about 20 minutes.
Review Date: 11/12/2010
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by Todd Eisner, MD, Private practice specializing in Gastroenterology, Boca Raton, FL. Clinical Instructor, Florida Atlantic University School of Medicine. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.