Virtual Colonoscopy

Virtual Colonoscopy is a CT procedure used to diagnose colon and bowel disease.

Who performs the procedure?

The procedure is performed by a CT Technologist with the assistance of a Radiologist.

Where is the procedure performed?

The procedure is performed in the CT Department of University Imaging Center, located at 419 West Redwood St., Suite110, Baltimore MD, 21201.

Why is the procedure performed?

The procedure is used to diagnose colon and bowel disease, including polyps, diverticulitis, and cancer.

Is there any prep for this procedure?

A bowel prep package will be provided by University Imaging Center prior to the exam. Please pick up the prep kit at least 3 days prior to exam. The prep kit goes as follow:

CT COLONOSCOPY BOWEL PREPAPATION

TWO DAYS BEFORE YOUR PROCEDURE
Eat a low residue diet (low fiber*), including foods such as:

  • All milk or milk based products

  • Well cooked vegetables (potatoes and tomatoes no skin)

  • Boiled, baked or broiled chicken

  • Beef or pork

  • Ice cream, sherbet, cake or pie

  • Eggs

  • White Bread, crackers

DO NOT eat seeds, nuts, raisins or coconut

ONE DAY BEFORE YOUR PROCEDURE
You have been provided with a bowel cleansing kit (LoSo prep) containing 2 kinds of laxatives and a suppository. Follow the steps below very carefully. Take only the medications, foods and fluids as listed below unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.

  • Any liquid you can see through

  • Apple, cranberry, white grape juice

  • Black coffee, plain tea

  • Clear fluids

  • Clear sodas (7-UP, Sprite)

  • Clear soups (bouillon)

  • Gatorade

  • Ice tea

* DIABETIC patients should consult with their physician regarding any adjustment of their insulin requirements.

Subjects with impaired renal function will undergo the same preparation with the exception that, instead of our regular LoSo prep, on the evening before the procedures between 8 and 10 PM, they must drink 4 liters of a polyethylene glycol solution (PEG-3350 and electrolytes for oral solution) (GoLYTELY®, Braintree Labs, Inc.).

*Contraindication to the use of LoSo bowel prep is chronic renal insufficiency (serum creatinine > 1.5 mg/dl).

Breakfast: Clear soup (any broth); strained fruit juices without pulp; flavored gelatin (do not add extra ingredients); soft drinks, black coffee or plain tea.
Noon: Clear soup (any broth); strained fruit juices without pulp; flavored gelatin (do not add extra ingredients); soft drinks, black coffee, plain tea.
1:00 pm Drink one (1) full 8oz. glass of water.
2:00 pm Drink one (1) full 8 oz. glass of water.
3:00 pm Drink one (1) full 8oz. glass of water.
4:00 pm Drink one (1) full 8 oz. glass of water.
5:30 pm Slowly add contents of the packet of Magnesium Carbonate, Citric Acid, and Potassium Citrate for Oral solution to 8 fl. oz. of cold water in a large glass (minimum 16 fl oz capacity). Stir gently. After effervescence (fizzing) stops, stir gently and drink entire contents of glass. This product generally produces a bowel movement in 30 minutes to 6 hours.
6:00 pm Drink one (1) full 8 oz. glass of water.
7:00 pm Drink one (1) full 8 oz. glass of water.
7:30 pm Peel the backing off the packet of bisacodyl tablets and remove the four (4) enclosed tablets. Take all four (4) with one (1) full 8 oz. glass of water. DO NOT CHEW THE TABLETS. (See WARNINGS: Bisacodyl Tablets). The tablets are to be taken two hours after the Magnesium Carbonate, Citric Acid, and Potassium Citrate for Oral Solution. Bisacodyl tablets generally produce bowel movement in 6 to 12 hours.
8:00 pm Drink one (1) full 8 oz. glass of water.
9:00 pm Drink one (1) full 8 oz. glass of water. Do not eat after 9:00 pm

Day of procedure- do not eat or drink anything

  • At least two (2) hours before the examination unwrap the foil wrapper from the bisacodyl suppository and discard the foil.
  • While lying on your side with thigh raised, insert the suppository into the rectum and gently push in as far as possible.
  • Retain the suppository for at least 15 minutes, if possible, before evacuating, even if the urge is strong. Bowel evacuation usually occurs within 15 to 60 minutes. Patients requiring assistance should have a bed pan, commode or help readily available.

Regular diet and medications may be resumed after the study has been completed.

What can I expect before the procedure?

Virtual medical illustration of a colonoscopy scan

Once you arrive at the UIC, you will have to register at the front desk. You will be asked to pay for the procedure at this time. You will get changed into a gown. The Technologist will explain the procedure to you and escort you to the CT room.

How long is the procedure?

Be prepared to be here for about one hour.

What can I expect during the procedure?

You will begin the procedure by lying on your back. A thin tube is then placed into your rectum and contrast and air is pumped into your colon to distend your bowel. The table is then moved into the scanner and pictures are taken. You will be asked to hold your breath and to hold still during the procedure. Then you will turn onto your stomach and the procedure will be repeated.

What can I expect after the procedure?

After the exam is complete, the results are sent to your doctor and you may resume normal activity. It is suggested to eat lightly after the exam since the bowel cleansing agent might still be active.


Are there any risks to this procedure?

There is a risk of perforating the bowel and brief rectal discomfort.

Virtual medical illustration of a colonoscopy

Are there any alternatives to this procedure?

A barium enema and a conventional colonoscopy can be performed.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Please contact the Radiology Access Center at 410-328-3225 to schedule an appointment.




For more information about the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine or to contact one of our radiologists, call the University Physicians Consultation and Referral Service at 1-800-492-5538 (patients) or 1-800-373-4111 (physicians).

This page was last updated: January 22, 2014

         
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