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Virtual Colonoscopy

Virtual Colonoscopy - Departments & Programs, UW Hospital and Clinics, Computed Tomography (CT) Services, Services


Virtual Colonoscopy is a method that allows doctors to look at the large bowel (colon) to detect polyps and cancers. Polyps are small growths in the colon that may become cancerous if they are not removed.

Virtual Colonoscopy is a recently developed technique that uses a CT scanner and sophisticated imaging techniques to generate a 3-D reconstruction of the inner surface of the colon, without having to insert a long tube (conventional colonoscopy) into the colon or without having to fill the colon with liquid barium (barium enema). The images can then be evaluated for abnormalities by specially trained radiologists.

In addition to other scanning parameters, the image quality of a CT virtual colonoscopy procedure is dependent on patient prep (i.e. optimum bowel cleansing and maximum bowel distention).