Virtual colonoscopy vs Traditional

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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 5:23 pm | Updated: 4:38 pm, Wed Jul 3, 2013.

Colorectal cancer affects both men and women and is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.

Now, a virtual colonoscopy may be an alternative for those favoring a less invasive procedure, but, how does it compare with the traditional procedure?

Getting a colonoscopy isn’t something we look forward to or feel comfortable talking about, but nobody ever died of embarrassment and early diagnosis is your best defense at beating colon cancer.

If you are on the wary side, you may consider a virtual colonoscopy the minimally invasive procedure takes 10-15 minutes to scan your colon and will have you back at work right after. Here's what’s involved in a traditional colonoscopy.

You prepare the day before by drinking a barium liquid to cleanse you. Next day you are sedated. The tools involve a long, thin flexible tube called a colonoscope that has a camera, an HD screen to project the images and the skilled hands of your doctor, so what’s the down side to a virtual colonoscopy?

“Patients still need to be prepared for the procedure. Still need to be cleaned out the day prior. If something is found during the virtual colonoscopy, you still actually have to undergo a colonoscopy to see it or remove it or biopsy it, says Rich Golub, M.D. Doctors Hospital of Sarasota.

If you are truly timid about getting a traditional colonoscopy then a virtual one is a good place to start. If, however, something is found and you have to go back for a traditional colonoscopy, you will have to wait a week, and then go through the whole prep all over again. So that is something to think about.

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