One of the technological advancements in the medical field is the virtual colonoscopy, a new method of screening for polyps or other abnormal growths in the colon. A noninvasive procedure, virtual colonoscopy uses a CT scanner to look for colonic polyps and thus understand whether there is a requirement for a full blown colonoscopy.
Though an advanced method, virtual colonoscopy has a success rate of just eighty-five percent, which is close to ten percent less than a conventional colonoscopy. While one drawback is that the test may fail to identify colon polyps which can later turn cancerous, the other is that it can only identify what are known as pedunculated polyps but not flat colon polyps.
Why a conventional colonoscopy is preferred over a virtual one is that with the former procedure, the doctor will be able to find both flat as well as pedunculated colonic polyps very easily; which means that even if a patient has undergone a virtual colonoscopy, he may still have to undergo a regular one for better diagnosis. This is especially a cause for concern for those at higher risk, since even after they have spent money on a virtual colonoscopy they still have to face an additional expenditure with a conventional colonoscopy.
Even for those at higher risks than average for colon cancer, having a virtual colonoscopy may not turn out to be a great idea, since only a conventional colonoscopy can facilitate the finding of all polyps present. Some people have even expressed discomfort at having to go through an X-ray exposure during a virtual colonoscopy.
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