Virtual Colonoscopy

What is a Virtual Colonoscopy?

CT colonography is used to screen for polyps and other abnormalities in the large intestine. CT colonography has a markedly lower risk of perforating the colon than conventional colonoscopy. Most screening patients who are examined do not have polyps and can be spared having to undergo a traditional colonoscopy.

The exam is currently covered by some insurance providers so please check with your insurance company.

Please review our brochure for benefits and to see if virtual colonoscopy is right for you.

What happens during the test?

You will be asked to change into a gown, and a technologist will obtain a medical history. You will lie on the exam table on your left side. A very small, flexible tube will be passed two inches into the rectum to allow air (carbon dioxide) to be gently pumped into the colon. You will then be asked to roll onto your back. Once the colon is full, you may experience some discomfort. The technologist will then take some images as you lie on your back, and the remaining pictures will be taken while you are lying on your stomach.

The entire test takes just 15 minutes to perform.

How do I prepare for the test?

You will receive a bowel preparation kit in the mail from Iowa Radiology prior to the exam. Please follow the enclosed preparation procedures.

When can I expect the results?

A radiologist will review your virtual colonography, and your physician will receive a written report within one business day.

After the test

You may return to normal activities following your exam. The carbon dioxide introduced during your exam will be rapidly absorbed and should cause little discomfort.



* The safety of our patients and those who accompany them to our office is of the utmost importance to the physicians and staff at Iowa Radiology. Please make arrangements for someone to care for your child/children during your exam. Thank you for your cooperation.

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