The Future of Gastroenterology
A Look at the Future of Gastroenterology – Virtual Colonoscopy
This year, less than half of American men and women will not screen for colon caner and will unfortunately die from this deadly disease. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, but with proper screening, colon cancer could become an entirely preventable disease.
Let’s face it. A conventional colonoscopy is never a pleasurable experience. Here it is in a nutshell: in a traditional colonoscopy, the patient is sedated and a tube with a camera is inserted into the rectum and the colon. Ouch! But now, some doctors are offering an alternative to conventional colonoscopy and it is called the “virtual colonoscopy”. And you’re in luck! The Texas Gastroenterology Institute is the only practice south of San Antonio and the first in the Rio Grande Valley to offer this easy, comfortable and less costly procedure through a CT Scan in their very own office.
So, what is a virtual colonoscopy and what makes it so innovative? A virtual colonoscopy is a non-invasive, safe and more comfortable procedure for colon screening. The virtual colonoscopy CT Scan takes hundreds of images of the abdomen and pelvis, which are then used to perform a computer generated, 3D reconstruction allowing doctors to take a virtual tour of the colon. In this situation, there’s no tube being moved throughout the colon. Because the procedure is minimally noninvasive, patients avoid the risk of complications such as bleeding that can occur if the colon is perforated. Patients receive no sedatives so they can drive themselves home after the 7-10 minute procedure without having any assistance. It is a genuine out patient procedure unlike the conventional colonoscopy.
After the exam, the digital information is gathered and stored which is then sent to a computer for 3D reconstruction which allows the doctor to “fly through” the colon. The image can even be turned around to allow viewing behind folds and other structures. Within 24 hours, your doctor will inform you of the results and discuss the future intervals.
You might be wondering if you are a candidate for this easy and convenient procedure. Here are the questions you should be asking yourself: Are you over 50 years of age? Are you over 40 with a family history of colon cancer? Have you failed a conventional colonoscopy due to tortuous colon or other reasons? Are you a poor candidate for sedation?
If you replied yes to any or all of these questions then you are the perfect candidate. Remember, each year more deaths are attributed to colorectal cancer than from breast cancer and AIDS combined! Don’t become another statistic. Call us today and make your appointment to be cancer free.