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3 Reasons You Should Have A Traditional Colonoscopy Over A Virtual One

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If you are experiencing problems with your large intestine, your doctor may have given you the option between a traditional and virtual colonoscopy or may have scheduled you for a virtual colonoscopy without an option. There are several reasons you should have a traditional colonoscopy instead of a virtual one.

More Comprehensive

With a traditional colonoscopy, you will need to prepare by eating a clear diet and using laxatives to make sure the doctor has a clear view of your large intestine. The procedure is performed under twilight sedation, which means you will be comfortable and a little drowsy but not unconscious. With a virtual colonoscopy, you will need similar preparation, but you will not be anesthetized in any way before the procedure. 

Doctors have a better view of different parts of your large intestine with a traditional colonoscopy because they insert a camera for direct visualization. With a virtual colonoscopy, the test is simply a CT scan with contrast medium. A radiologist may notice your intestines are larger than normal, signs of perforation, or a large mass, but they may not detect problems confined to the inside of the large intestine.

Faster Treatment

During a traditional colonoscopy, the doctor is prepared to remove polyps or deal with other problems. It is imperative to have these growths removed so they can be sent to pathology for further testing. Many people have polyps that are discovered during a traditional colonoscopy, and in some cases, they are pre-cancerous or diagnosed as being the early stage of colorectal cancer. When these suspicious growths are removed early, you may not need any type of treatment, just regular monitoring to be sure the polyps do not return.

If your doctor suspects some of your symptoms are associated with benign conditions, such as hemorrhoids, they may be prepared to treat them during the procedure. Hemorrhoids can be tied off or cauterized so they shrink and die. If a serious problem is found with a traditional colonoscopy, it is much better to move straight to the diagnostic and treatment phase. With a virtual colonoscopy, if an area looks suspicious or the test is inconclusive, you would likely be scheduled for a traditional colonoscopy.

Better Accessibility

Traditional colonoscopies are widely available at hospitals and outpatient treatment centers, making them more accessible and affordable. If you have insurance, you may have higher out-of-pocket costs if you choose a virtual colonoscopy. Some insurance providers might base their decision on whether or not they will cover a virtual colonoscopy based on the limitations of the procedure. Since you may need a traditional colonoscopy as a follow-up test, it is more economical on their end to only cover a "tried and true" imaging method.

The less invasive method of a virtual colonoscopy can seem tempting, but when you compare it to the advantages of a traditional colonoscopy, a slightly more invasive procedure makes more sense and can make you feel confident in the results. Talk with a professional at a clinic like Lincoln Surgical Group PC to learn more.