Virtual colonoscopy has the potential to screen more patients than regular colonoscopy: 6 details

Radiologists at Lowville, N.Y.-based Lewis County General Hospital are using new virtual colonoscopy technology through using a CT scanner to produce a 3D image of a patient's colon, according to WWNYTV.

Here are the key details to know:

1. Rob Pfeiffer, director of medical imaging at Lewis County General Hospital, said the technology allows the hospital to screen more patients who don't want to have a regular colonoscopy or aren't able to have one.

2. Mr. Pfeiffer explained to WWNYTV that virtual colonoscopy provides an internal view of the colon without having to use a scope.

3. Patients don't have to be put under with anesthesia for the procedure. Radiologists inflate the colon with air with a flexible tube smaller than a scope.

4. The procedure takes 30 minutes, and patient can go home sooner than traditional colonoscopies.

5. If patients are at high risk for colon cancer, they should have a regular colonoscopy rather than a virtual one, according to WWNYTV's interview with Lewis County General Hospital clinicians.

6. Some insurance companies do not authorize the procedure unless the patient has had past trouble with colonoscopies.

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