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Virtual Colonoscopy
Old 01-26-2008, 12:07 AM   #1
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Virtual Colonoscopy

Anyone had one? Just had a routine physical and my new doctor was on me its time for sigmoido or colonoscopy. I asked him about virtual colonoscopies which I had recently read about. He said, in my area at least, they are still in experiemntal and evaluation stage. One would have to be in a "study group" to get one in Portland. Said it would probably be a few years before this new procedure started being more widely used.

Anu experience or comments?
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:06 AM   #2
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Nope, they stuck the d*mn thing up my *ss again. However, as I think many have mentioned before, the prep is worse than the actual colonoscopy (or should be).
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:20 AM   #3
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Nope, they stuck the d*mn thing up my *ss again. However, as I think many have mentioned before, the prep is worse than the actual colonoscopy (or should be).
I agree. Why cant't they come up with a virtual prep?
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:33 AM   #4
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If I understand correctly, if they see anything suspicious on the virtual test, they have to go in and take a sample anyway via the usual route. Not sure if this is immediate or if you get to do the prep all over again.
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:00 AM   #5
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If I understand correctly, if they see anything suspicious on the virtual test, they have to go in and take a sample anyway via the usual route. Not sure if this is immediate or if you get to do the prep all over again.
... since you have to do the prep, why not 'get it over with' ... I would REALLY HATE to go through another prep..
Once every 5 years is enough ... dreading it ... 4 years 7 months to go...
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:55 PM   #6
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The prep is exactly the same.
It takes longer than the normal CT scan
If anything abnormal is detected, you have to re-do the whole damm thing over again to get a colonoscopy and biopsy
I think you still need a regular colonscopy at some interval to make sure the virtual colonoscopy isn't missing something.
It certainly doesn't cost any less.
There are some problems it will not detect.
I would rather do the right thing, once.
I'm in the healthcare field, and I would much rather have my gastroenterologist do a complete upper endoscopy/ colonoscopy.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:16 AM   #7
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Personally, I would go with a sigmoidoscopy if your doctor feels it acceptable. A sigmoidoscopy may not be as effective as a colonoscopy in screening for polyps. However, it also carries slightly lower risks and lower costs since you do not need to be sedated and the scope doesn't need to get around that intestinal bend (I'm sure there's still a chance for tearing with a sigmoidoscopy).

The other huge advantage of the sigmoidoscopy is that you get to watch along with the doc. With a colonoscopy, you just get pictures.

I have very fond memories of prepping for my sigmoidoscopy...

edit: And, as has already been amply pointed out, if the virtual finds anything they need to go in anyway... and that will involve a second prep. You will be cursing all that is holy after the first prep so why do it to yourself twice.
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:16 AM   #8
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Personally, I would go with a sigmoidoscopy if your doctor feels it acceptable. A sigmoidoscopy may not be as effective as a colonoscopy in screening for polyps. However, it also carries slightly lower risks and lower costs since you do not need to be sedated and the scope doesn't need to get around that intestinal bend (I'm sure there's still a chance for tearing with a sigmoidoscopy).

The other huge advantage of the sigmoidoscopy is that you get to watch along with the doc. With a colonoscopy, you just get pictures.

I have very fond memories of prepping for my sigmoidoscopy...

edit: And, as has already been amply pointed out, if the virtual finds anything they need to go in anyway... and that will involve a second prep. You will be cursing all that is holy after the first prep so why do it to yourself twice.
I AM NOT THAT CURIOUS ... nor am I a micro manager... so I don't have to 'sing along' with the DR.
I think THE benefit of a colonoscopy is that you are NOT AWAKE! Just start counting ... and wake up done.
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Old 01-27-2008, 05:12 AM   #9
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i wouldnt do the virtual because the prep is the same and if they see something rather than just deal with it there and take out a polyp you have to go thru the prep all over again so they can now deal with it
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:22 PM   #10
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I AM NOT THAT CURIOUS ... nor am I a micro manager... so I don't have to 'sing along' with the DR.
I think THE benefit of a colonoscopy is that you are NOT AWAKE! Just start counting ... and wake up done.
I think the worst part of my sig was watching it with the doc. I felt sorta invaded.
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:26 PM   #11
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Personally, I would go with a sigmoidoscopy if your doctor feels it acceptable. A sigmoidoscopy may not be as effective as a colonoscopy in screening for polyps.
I've had both of these. The sigmo hurt like hell, the colo was painless as I was out. Add to it that the colo is more thorough and the cost is very close I would always go for the full colonoscopy.

Ha
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:51 PM   #12
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I think the worst part of my sig was watching it with the doc. I felt sorta invaded.
i know what you mean, forget flowers and dinner he dosnt call, he dosnt write.
ha ha ha maybe hes just up to his elbows in work
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:32 PM   #13
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You should definitely get a full colonoscopy, not a sigmoidoscopy. I'm surprised a physician would have even mentioned a sigmoidoscopy. It just can't evaluate the right and transverse colon. I'd be surprised if it is the standard of care to do a sigmoidoscopy alone.
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:17 PM   #14
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I'm no doctor, so take what I say with a grain of salt. I've had both sigs and full colonscopies. The prep is the same for each. None of them were the best 2 days of my life, but there's certain stuff you have to do as you get older, so my advice is to just deal with it. Sigs only give a partial look; full colonoscopies are much more comprehensive. Seems to me that if you have a choice of one of the other, go for the full colonoscopy because they get to look at more and who knows where problems may be lurking?
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:19 PM   #15
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I've had both of these. The sigmo hurt like hell, the colo was painless as I was out. Add to it that the colo is more thorough and the cost is very close I would always go for the full colonoscopy.

Ha
I've had both as well and found the colonoscopy was far less "stressful". Yes, there was the prep, but even that was easier than that I had to do for the sigmoidscopy. For the sigmo, I remember having to self administer Fleet enemas (ugh!!!!), where for the colonoscopy it was drinking a quart or so of liquid mixed with Miralax and staying within quick distance of the bathroom for an afternoon.

In my case, the sigmoidscopy missed the fact that I had the beginnings of a potential problem because the scope doesn't look at the entire colon. I would definitely recommend the colonoscopy over the sigmoidscopy and the real deal over the virtual one. I for one will put up with a bit of personal discomfort if it means I can avoid colon cancer.
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:45 PM   #16
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I, too, have had both. Forget the sigmoidoscopy. See above comments.

I also heard about the virtual colonoscopy from a Canadian doctor. My family doctor said it was a waste of time. Resolution is not good enough and you can't see colour. Go with the colonoscopy. Buy the videotape.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:56 PM   #17
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Since the prep is the same I just don't see the point of undergoing a high-radiation procedure all over my torso every few years when there's a (reasonably) safe, non-radiating alternative. I'd opt for the standard colonoscopy.

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Go with the colonoscopy. Buy the videotape.
Colonoscopy: The Movie. Starring "Tail Pipe" Colon and U.B. Doc.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:58 PM   #18
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You should definitely get a full colonoscopy, not a sigmoidoscopy. I'm surprised a physician would have even mentioned a sigmoidoscopy. It just can't evaluate the right and transverse colon. I'd be surprised if it is the standard of care to do a sigmoidoscopy alone.
He favored the full colo, actually. The sigmoido he said I need to do the occult blood tests every year in between. I have had a previous sigmoido and occult blood tests is why it is in the discussion. I am doing occult blood tests now as part of routine physical. He said if blood found, he wants me to do full colo. Makes sense.

Otherwise though, I read up info on a couple of medical info websites. Said there was as yet no definitive demonstrated advantage in outcomes between sigmoido's with occult blood tests, vs full colos. (ie, percent who eventually show up with colon cancer). Makes me then wonder about full colo risk of puncturing if that's true.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:01 PM   #19
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P.S. Isn't ER great? One can spend one's time delving into the finer points of full colonoscopies vs sigmoidoscopies!!
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:15 AM   #20
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Stop dithering. The risk of perforation is directly related to the number of biopsies. Having had two friends die of colon cancer that originated in the right colon area, I am a strong advocate for getting the full monty. I think having to do home stool occult blood tests is just impractical and not reliable.

It sounds like you are looking for an excuse. I consider my colonoscopy the best medical insurance I have. Now I know what I have and don't have.
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