Preparation for CT colonography is easier than preparation for regular colonoscopy. How does patient experience during CT colonography compare with traditional colonoscopy? Leading virtual colonoscopy screening expert discusses CT colonography. Virtual colonoscopy.
Virtual colonoscopy has advantages in patient experience over the regular optical colonoscopy. It is also called CT colonography. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. You have mentioned some of advantages of virtual colonoscopy already. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Could you compare the patient experience during preparation and procedure for virtual colonoscopy and for optical colonoscopy? Dr. Perry Pickhardt, MD. We tend to use a much lower volume bowel preparation for virtual colonoscopy. This is different from gastroenterologists. They continue to use 2 and 4 liter bowel preparations for regular colonoscopy. Dr. Perry Pickhardt, MD. We tend to use a tiny fraction of that prep volume. But we also include oral contrast. It is used to tag residual fluid and material at CT. This increases accuracy of virtual colonoscopy. The preparation the night before virtual colonoscopy is easier. Patients come in and there is no intravenous line needed. We do not use any medications. There are no needles, no sedation. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Virtual colonoscopy exam itself lasts 10 to 15 minutes at the most. A regular optical colonoscopy is different. You undergo a much more rigorous bowel preparation the night before. An intravenous line is started before the procedure. Dr. Perry Pickhardt, MD. They basically sedate you to the point where most people are sleeping. This is probably a good thing for patient convenience or acceptance. But the recovery time after regular colonoscopy is prolonged. Patients need to have a second person to drive a patient home after regular colonoscopy. The complication rate of regular optical colonoscopy is considerably higher. We have had no significant complications in the experience of our entire CT colonography screening program history. The experience for patients undergoing virtual colonoscopy is easy. It is a small bowel preparation before the procedure. But virtual colonoscopy is just a routine CT scan from a patient's perspective. Dr. Perry Pickhardt, MD. Virtual colonoscopy is a CT scan, that is true. The added benefit to our program is this. Not all CT colonography programs have achieved this. We work closely with our gastroenterologists. When we find a large polyp or a cancer, We actually send the patient on for optical colonoscopy to remove the polyp on the same day. Dr. Perry Pickhardt, MD. Patients only undergo a single preparation. That is done in fewer than 10% of all patients who undergo virtual colonoscopy. It is a one-stop shop for the minority that are harboring significant pathology of potential colon cancer. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. But the vast majority of patients avoid the more invasive test of regular colonoscopy. It is 90% or more patients. They can essentially go back to their regular activities as soon as they hear the results of CT colonography. We provide results of virtual colonoscopy usually within 1 - 2 hours at the most. This is our time window of returning the results of virtual colonoscopy to our patients. It is a very fast turnaround for virtual colonoscopy procedure. The anxiety of the patients waiting for the results is an important factor. Yes, that is correct. After patients undergo virtual colonoscopy, they are free to go wherever they want. Dr. Perry Pickhardt, MD. We just contact them usually by mobile phone. We tell them the results of the test. Patients could be at work or on the golf course. Patients don't eat or drink before we tell them results of virtual colonoscopy. They are able to come back for the colonoscopy in the small percentage that need the second test. Well, clearly that makes the virtual colonoscopy procedure very convenient from a patient's perspective. Dr. Perry Pickhardt, MD. Yes, and that is what we've seen repeatedly in our polling and our questionnaires to patients. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. There has been a very strong preference for CT colonography over regular colonoscopy. This is true every time we have conducted such a survey. Patients Prefer Virtual Colonoscopy over regular colonoscopy. virtual colonoscopy vs regular colonoscopy by patient experience before and during the procedure. Virtual colonoscopy wins in patient experience. There is much lower volume bowel preparation for virtual colonoscopy. the preparation the night before virtual colonoscopy is easier. Virtual Colonoscopy Procedure, Recovery, Preparation with magnesium citrate. Read About Procedure Preparation for virtual colonoscopy. experience for the patients for the virtual colonoscopy is essentially easy. It is a very small bowel preparation before the procedure. But virtual colonoscopy is just a routine CT scan from a patient’s perspective. Leading colorectal cancer screening expert and radiologist talks about virtual colonoscopy (CT colonography).