How to Prepare for the Test
Everyone undergoing any type of colonoscopy must completely empty their bowels before the exam. This may be done using laxatives combined with a liquid diet the day before the test. The bowel must be completely emptied until no solid matter remains.
Drink plenty of clear liquids, such as apple juice and chicken broth, to avoid dehydration.
Make sure you tell your health care provider about any medications you are taking. You will be told which you can take, and which you should temporarily stop.
Why the Test is Performed
Virtual colonoscopy may be performed to:
- Follow-up on colon cancer or polyps
- Look for the cause of: Abdominal pain, changes in bowel movements, or weight loss
- Anemia due to low iron
- Blood in the stool or black, tarry stools
- Screen for cancer of the colon or rectum (should be done every 5 years)
Other times, a virtual colonoscopy is done if your doctor was not able to move the flexible tube all the way through the colon during a conventional colonoscopy. (Incomplete Colonoscopy)
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