Doctor holding up xray

What is a Virtual Colonoscopy?

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A Virtual Colonoscopy (also called a CT Colonography) is a special type of x-ray that uses a CT scanner and computer software to examine the inside of your colon (also called your large bowel or large intestine).

Why should I have a Virtual Colonoscopy?

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This procedure can detect ulcers, tumors (polyps), cancer or other illnesses. This test requires an order from your doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.

Orders, Scheduling, and Insurance - What do I do before the exam?

  • An order is required for all CT exams
  • You can call us directly to schedule your exam, or your Providers office may and schedule the exam for you
  • Call your insurance prior to your exam to determine any coverage restrictions or limitations
  • Call your insurance prior to your exam to determine any prior authorization or notification requirements
  • You can find more information on billing here: BILLING

Exam Preparation - What do I do before the exam?

  • Read over our “Preparing for Your Imaging Exam” page 
  • Wear warm and comfortable clothes with no metal, for example: no zippers, buttons, or grommets.
  • Avoid wearing jewelry or other metal accessories as they will need to be removed prior to your exam.
  • There will most likely be specific instructions for eating/drinking before your exam, please speak with your provider.
  • Ask your Provider about any medications you are taking, and bring a copy your current medications list with you to your imaging exam
  • If you are pregnant and/or breast feeding, or could possibly be pregnant, please let us know

If you have any questions about the preparation instructions, please call our office at 309-743-0445.

How long will the exam take?

The exam takes between 45 to 60 minutes to complete.

What will the exam be like?

First you will be asked to change into a gown and then escorted to an exam room. You will be placed on the exam table and a small, lubricated tube will be inserted into your rectum. This tube will fill your colon with air for the best possible x-ray picture.

The CT scanner consists of a narrow table and a large donut-shaped ring. For the exam, the table will move through the opening as a series of x-ray beams rotate around you. A computer in the machine will take these pictures and recreate a 3D image of inside your colon. You will need to remain still for the exam because movement can make the pictures blurry.

What happens with my test results?

One of our specially trained Radiologists will study the images of your test and send a final written report to your ordering provider (doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) within 24-48 hours, unless prior imaging is needed for your exam, in which case it may take longer.

Your ordering provider can then discuss the results with you in detail. If you want to discuss your results you will need to contact your ordering provider. Every Provider’s office has different procedures and turnaround time for discussing results of exams. Our staff is not able to discuss the specifics of the results with you or give you a diagnosis.

What if I have further questions?

If you have any further questions or concerns about this procedure, please contact our office at 309-743-0445 or call your doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.

Virtual Colonoscopy Brochure