C T Colonography is a procedure using a CT scanner and specialised computer software to obtain an interior view of the colon (large intestine).
The major reason for performing a CT colonography is to look for polyps and other lesions in the large intestine. Some polyps may grow and turn into cancers. The goal is to find these growths before they turn into cancers.
If you have heart disease or diabetes it is very important you tell us at the time of booking. Continue to take your essential medications.
It is very important to clean out your bowel for two nights before your examination so the Radiologist can clearly see any polyps that may be present.
You will be given a bowel preparation pack, which includes laxatives and a barium “tagging” mixture, along with a diet and instruction sheet. Please follow the instructions carefully.
You will be asked to undress and put on a gown. When you are ready the Medical Radiation Technologist will take you to the CT scanning room and will explain the procedure to you.
You may be given a small injection of Buscopan to relax the colon.
The Medical Radiation Technologist will position you on your left side on the scanner table. A small, flexible tube will be passed into your rectum to allow carbon dioxide gas to be gently pumped into the colon.
The purpose of the carbon dioxide is to distend the colon as much as possible to eliminate any folds or wrinkles that might obscure polyps.
Once enough carbon dioxide has been pumped in you will be positioned on your back on the CT table. You will be asked to hold your breath for about 15 seconds while the first scan is performed. You will then be positioned on your front for a further scan.
Most patients report a feeling of fullness when the colon is inflated. The MRT will remain with you during this procedure but while the scan is performed he or she will leave the room. The MRT can see and hear you at all times.
The scanning procedure itself causes no pain or other symptoms.
The entire procedure will take 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
When the examination is completed and the MRT has checked the scans to ensure all areas of your large intestine have be satisfactorily imaged you will be able to go to the toilet. You will then be able to get dressed and have a hot drink if you wish.
The carbon dioxide gas is absorbed by your body very quickly but you may feel full and may experience some mild cramping for a short time. Keeping moving by walking around will help to alleviate this discomfort.
You may resume your normal diet.
An example of the images the Radiologist will see to report your CT colonography.
The results will be sent to your doctor.
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