Meet Jane, CT Colonography patient

Colon cancer is the third most common form of cancer in the world. The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age, which is why Jane scheduled a procedure at age 55. Unlike a traditional colonoscopy where patients are sedated, a CT Colonography allows patients to be awake and back to their daily activities directly following.

CT Colonography or Virtual Colonoscopy is a procedure that makes use of computed tomography (CT) to examine the colon and rectum for presence of cancer or pre-cancerous polyps. Virtual colonoscopy can disclose tumors, bleeding, inflammatory bowel disease and diverticulosis.

For more information on this and other radiology procedures, please visit

» See the Virtual Colonoscopy Brochure
» Meet our Team of Body Imaging Radiologists.

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Nevertheless, individuals at the greatest risk of developing colorectal cancer remain largely unscreened. This is due, in part, to poor public awareness and acceptance of current screening techniques. Unlike optical colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy requires no sedation because it is a minimally invasive procedure. Potential indications for having a CT Colonography exam are incomplete colonoscopy, low-to-average risk patients who prefer not to have a colonoscopy; and frail patients and patients who are unable to tolerate a colonoscopy.

Virtual colonoscopy eliminates the risk of perforating the colon while enabling enhanced detection of polyps as small as 3 millimeters (slightly less than one-eighth of an inch) in diameter. While conventional colonoscopy takes two hours or more to perform, virtual colonoscopy can be completed within half an hour and is a far more comfortable procedure.

Just as for conventional colonoscopy, you must follow a bowel-emptying regimen the day before the examination to enable clear imaging of tissues. You will be placed on a liquid diet and prescribed laxatives to eliminate all solid material from your colon.

The CT scan will only last around 15 minutes. CT Colonography requires rectal insertion of a narrow, flexible tube, through which air is pumped to expand the folds of the colon. For your examination, you will lie comfortably on both you back and stomach at different times on a padded table. The table will move in short steps through the scanner as a CT tube rotates around you. At each step, the scanner completes a separate view. The information is processed by the computer and displayed as three-dimensional images on a video screen for the technologist.

You should remain as still as possible to produce the clearest images. You will be asked to hold your breath for up to 30 seconds.

Radiologists specialized in body imaging will analyze the images obtained from the CT on a computer program that shows a 3D image of the colon. They will send the results of your exam to your physician within one week of the study.

Typically your referring physician will schedule an appointment for you. If you have been asked to schedule the appointment yourself, please have your physician's order and any pre-authorization information required by your insurance or health plan provider in hand, and call 704-442-4390.

CT Colonography or Virtual Colonoscopies can be great compliment to Colon Cancer Awareness Programs in the work place. Charlotte Radiology offers a discounted screening fee of $975 per employee at our Carolinas Imaging Services locations in:

» Carolinas Imaging Services - Ballantyne
» Carolinas Imaging Services - Huntersville

For more information or to book this CR Wellness Screening:
Contact Katie Robbins at 704-334-7810 or