Chirurgisches Institut - Berlin  
Virtual Colonoscopy
Educational Movie
Intestinal Diseases

Virtual Colonoscopy

as a sparing and contactless method of examination

Here you can download information for patients about the virtual colonoscopy (as a PDF file)

Patient information:
Virtual colonoscopy

For the virtual colonoscopy an ultra-fast multi-level CT scanner is used to produce three-dimensional images, which are compatible with the images from an optical endoscope. This virtual travel through the intestines provides views from all angles in a way that is impossible to achieve with the conventional colonoscopy.

In just two 20 second intervals the patient's entire data is collected and processed by a computer, independently from the patient's presence. The virtual endoscopy is therefore painless and without physical contact. Drugs are not needed and there is no risk of infection.

The exposure to radiation is minimized due to a dosage reduction that considers the individual physique. With 0,8-1,6 mSv it is - in contrary to a widespread opinion- extremely low and equivalent to the half of the natural radiation that you are exposed to during the course of one year in Germany (2,4 mSv).

Multiple studies produced a high hit rate in looking for polyps and small intestinal tumors (larger than 3 millimeters). This makes the virtual colonoscopy an excellent additional method for the diagnosis and prevention of intestinal tumors.

Furthermore the acceptance of preventative care is likely to be raised significantly, making it possible to detect more than the current 10% of intestinal cancer in the course of preventative examinations.

Conventional or virtual Colonoscopy
In the context of preventive medical screenings 300.000 colonoscopies were performed, which revealed in 14% of all subjects one or more polyps requiring treatment. In 0,7% of all cases an intestinal tumor was detected.

In over 80% of all these cases the painless and more patient friendly virtual colonoscopy would have been sufficient for clarification. A preliminary virtual colonoscopy could therefore pre-select only those patients for the conventional endoscopy, who require treatment and removal of the pathological changes.

The Virtual Colonoscopy is especially fit for patients that:
- have had a heart attack
- are allergic to medication
- are currently taking medication affecting the blood clotting
- have an artificial anus
- had an unsuccessful or incomplete colonoscopy
- are afraid of the conventional colonoscopy

Since both exams require identical preparations of the intestines, we offer both procedures concurrently so that an endoscopic colonoscopy can be performed immediately after the virtual colonoscopy should the necessity arise.

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