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What is Virtual Colonoscopy (VC)?

What is Virtual Colonoscopy (VC)? | Why Integrated VC? | Watch VC Videos | 


VC, also known as CT Colonography, is is a revolutionary and technologically-advanced new screening test for Colon Cancer. VC is an imaging test that is performed by an advanced CT scanner. Images of the patient's abdomen are taken by the CT scanner. With special software, these images are put together to create a three-dimensional image of the colon. This 3-D image of the colon provides the same view of the inside of the colon that is seen by traditional colonoscopy. In fact, the views provided by VC, in many ways, are even better than those seen by traditional colonoscopy.

Why is Virtual Colonoscopy (VC) such a breakthrough screening test?

VC is a non-invasive test. It does not require the insertion of an endoscope throughout the colon. It is quick--completed in about 10-15 minutes. Further, it does not require sedation or anesthesia. Therefore the patient is able to immediately resume all activities, including driving and work.

Recent studies of VC show that it is as sensitive for detecting polyps and cancers as traditional colonoscopy. In fact, in many ways, the images provided by VC are even better than those seen by traditional colonoscopy. This is because VC can often see corners, folds, and nooks and crannies of the bowel easier and better than traditional colonoscopy.

Furthermore, unlike traditional colonoscopy, which only sees the inside of the colon, a VC also provides images of the rest of the abdomen. While VC images are not a substitute for a complete abdominal CT scan (if one is indicated for other reasons), these VC images can often detect early cancers and other abnormalities in abdominal organs. Many people have been cured of abdominal cancers before they developed symptoms because they were detected early by VC.

With VC, patients not only receive an easy, safe, and very sensitive screening test for Colon Cancer, but they also get a chance to detect any other early cancers that might be present in the abdomen.

What are the major limitations of VC?

While VC is a fabulous new technology, and a test that most patients prefer over traditional colonoscopy, there are a few limitations. First, there is no polyp removal capability with VC. If polyps are detected (approximately 20-30% of average risk patients), a traditional colonoscopy needs to be performed to remove them.

Second, patients who undergo VC will need to perform a 12 hour, pre-test colon preparation (laxatives), exactly like patients who undergo traditional colonoscopy.

The innovative process employed by Colon Health Centers of America greatly reduces the impact of these two limitations. The CHC America process allows patients to fully benefit from all the many advantages of VC, while greatly reducing the impact of the two limitations. (See What is so innovative about the Colon Health Centers of America Colon Cancer screening process?)


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