What are the Risks of a Virtual Colonoscopy?

Virtual colonoscopy is a procedure that combines the use of X-rays and computer technology to capture images of the rectum and the entire colon. With these images it is easy to understand the swollen and irritated tissues, ulcers and polyps. This is also called computerized tomography (CT) colonography. This process is slightly different from the traditional method of colonoscopy where a long tube with a camera in the end of it was inserted into the colon for a better understanding of the interiors.

virtual colonoscopy

Why is Virtual Colonoscopy Risky?

  • In this process a contrast agent in introduced in the colon and that results in some air being preset in the colon. This can make you feel bloated up.
  • This excess air can cause cramps, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting tendencies and constipation. All this is a result of the allergic reaction due to the contrast agent.
  • In virtual colonoscopy a tube is inserted in the colon and this tube expands with the mass of air. This expansion is necessary as these help in the capturing of the pictures of the colon and the rectum. But the expanded air causes gas and becomes uncomfortable for you.
  • This method is good but not the best because if you have a polyp that is smaller than 10 millimeter in size, then you will probably not be able to see it. The images captured by the X-rays and the computers can only capture an image of a growth that is considerably big in size. The capturing of image does not really work in case the growth is less.
  • In the virtual mode, only the diagnosis of the colon is possible. It is impossible to remove any over grown tissue or polyp using this method. To remove these growths, a surgery is necessary and that is when you have to resort to the conventional colonoscopy.
  • In case you are tight on cash and you are using your health insurance policy to get the virtual colonoscopy done, then you might be in for some surprise. Most health insurance policies do not cover the virtual colonoscopy under their care routines.
  • The X-ray used for capturing images causes radiation and that may be harmful for your body.
  • Before the process starts, you need to prep your bowels using laxatives, and oral solutions otherwise you will feel a lot of trouble and discomfort.

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