A Colonoscopy and Virtual Colonography are two procedures that examine your colon for bowel disease and early signs of colorectal cancer. Our Health Centre performs both procedures, but which procedure is better?
A colonoscopy can by no means be described as a pleasant experience. However, many realize the importance of a healthy colon and bravely endure the uncomfortable examination of a very private area of their body. A newer screening method, virtual colonography, is a non-invasive procedure and far more comfortable for patients.
Both procedures are equivalent in accuracy and produce similar results, and since a virtual colonography is more patient-friendly, it seems clear that it is the superior screening method. However, if an abnormality is detected during a virtual colonography, no further actions can be performed. A biopsy can only be performed during a colonoscopy. If a polyp is found, the patient will need a regular colonoscopy and biopsy to determine if the polyp is cancerous.
Both procedures are valid options for detecting cancer. To ensure a higher success rate, discuss the pros and cons of both procedures with your physician or gastroenterologist.
|If abnormality is found, a colonoscopy will be required||Immediate removal of abnormalities|
|Non-invasive procedure||Invasive procedure|
|No sedation required, normal activity can be resumed on the same day||Sedation required, patient cannot drive until sedation wears off|
|No risk of bleeding or tearing of the colon||Small risk of bleeding or tearing of the colon|
|May detect abnormalities outside of the colon (e.g. kidney cancer)||Only examines the colon|
|Not covered by all medical insurance||Broader medical insurance coverage|