Normal colonoscopy procedure is widely used for early colon cancer detection. With the introduction of Computer Tomography (CT), a new way of investigating the colon was developed. It is called virtual colonoscopy and uses a computer tomograph and specially developed software. The procedure allows radiologists (doctors dealing with x-rays), to create pictures that can be watched and stocked on the computer and that looks just like those seen on a real endoscopy.virtual colonoscopy is an excellent resource for this.
Like any other procedure, virtual colonoscopy has some advantages and disadvantages comparing to regular procedure. As for example it allows doctors to perform a smaller number of traditional investigations, as the necessity for traditional approach rises only when a polyp is detected. Virtual exam is considered to be safer, because there is a very low risk of complications, especially for bowel tearing. It can be used instead of traditional endoscopic exam, in patients with contraindications for it. It is also a very good alternative for those who are afraid to pass a traditional exam.
At this point there is still room for this technique, as the virtual variant of the procedure can’t provide yet the same quality of information as the regular procedure does. As for example, CT scan is useless if the patient has a flat or a very small (smaller than 0,2 inches) polyp.
The comfort of the virtual colonoscopy can not be denied. First of all, it is very well tolerated by all patients and does not require sedation. The only inconvenient moment is the feeling of abdominal cramping because of the gas introduced.