Colonography is a test which is quite similar to X-rays, as it also provides images of inner parts of a human body. The test is similar to x-ray, but it is a highly advance version by which crystal clear images of blood vessels, bones, soft tissues etc. can be generated. Images obtained from this test can be reformatted on various different planes and even 3D images can be created from them. There are various mediums for viewing the images, such as viewing on the monitor or taking hard print of it on paper or even transfer them in a pen drive. In medial term, colonography is also called as virtual colonoscopy in which adequate CT scanning dose is used for generating clear pictures of colon. The procedure is safe as compared to colonoscopy, in which a tube is inserted from the rectum of the patient and rotated inside the entire colon.
Benefits of Colonography Procedure
Colonography is helpful in screening the colon region of the body and helps in identifying polyps and cancer especially in the colon region. Polyps are basically small outgrowth develops on the lining of the interesting and in due course of time it slows becomes cancerous. The role of colonography is to spot such outgrowths and remove them before it becomes cancerous or cause colon cancer. As per ACS i.e. American Cancer Society, every individual should definitely undergo the screening process once when they turn 50. This is so because this is the time when the chance of developing colon cancer is very high. People who have family history of colon cancer or infection are more prone to suffer from this disease as compared to the other people. Some of the common symptoms of colon cancer include:
- Blood traces in stool
- Abdominal pain
- Frequent alterations in bowel habits
- Sudden weight loss
Is a Colonography Painful?
As a part of the procedure the colon of the patient is overblown, so the patient may feel the urge to pass gas. Majority of people have a misconception that significant amount of pain is experienced during the process, but this is not true. Patient may feel a slight pain or discomfort, but that can be reduced with the help of muscle relaxant. As such the screen procedure does not cause any pain, instead; it is the before test preparation that may make the patient feel uncomfortable.
CT scanner lights are projected on the body and it is very important that patient should be in a perfect position, so that the scanner can provide clear and better images of the body and during the procedure, patient is kept in the screen room alone. Once the screening is done patient can immediately continue with their normal activities.
An experienced radiologist analyses the images and based on that prepare report, which is then discussed with the doctor who referred the patient. The report is then explained to the patient. In some cases, the presence of polyps is identified immediately and if the center where the test is undertaken is well equipped, then the removal of polyps sample is done right after the colonography is over. There are times when follow-up examination is suggested by the doctor. Patients should ask their doctor about the reason for repeat colonography. Follow-up test is prescribed when a possibility of polyps or any other abnormality is suspected by the expert. Also, the follow-up examination is very helpful in identifying whether the treatment given is working or not.
As an outcome of overblown colon, the patient may experience irregular bowel. It is a very rare case, as one in thousand patients experience this problem.
If the patient is frequently exposed to CT scan then there is a high possibility that the patient will develop cancer.
Pregnant women are not recommended undergoing the test as it can have an adverse impact on the fetus. Still if the test is very necessary, then it is done under controlled environment.
- What Is A Colonoscopy Procedure & Why Do You Need To Do It?
- How Long Does It Take To Do A Colonoscopy?
- Is Getting a Colonoscopy Painful?
- What are the Side Effects from a Colonoscopy?
- How Long Does It Take To Get A Colonoscopy?
- Is Colonoscopy Considered To Be A Surgical Procedure?