Computerized Colonography uses a CT scanner to produce hundreds of cross-sectional images of your abdominal organs. Those images are digitally manipulated to evaluate the inner surfaces of the colon and provide a detailed view for the absence or presence of abnormalities, such as colon polyps.

CT Colonography is more comfortable than conventional colonoscopy for some people because it does not use a colonoscope. As a result, no sedation is needed, and patients can return to usual activities or go home after the procedure without the aid of another person. CT Colonography provides clearer, more detailed images than a conventional X-Ray using a barium enema, sometimes called a lower gastrointestinal (GI) series. It also takes less time than either a conventional colonoscopy or a lower GI series.


Three-dimensional (3-D) virtual colonoscopy showing a slightly elevated nonpolypoid lesion, a flat or sunken region (arrowheads).

If an abnormality is found on CT Colonography, it may be recommended that the patient have a traditional colonoscopy performed by a gastroenterologist.CT Colonography may be of benefit to:

  • Patients with prior incomplete traditional colonoscopy
  • Gastroenterologists unable to advance the scope through the entire colon
  • Patients who are not medically advised to undergo IV sedation
  • Patients with anxiety related to the traditional endoscopic procedure or sedation

In most cases, CT Colonography is not reimbursed by medical insurance. However, there may be exceptions if a patient is not able to undergo a regular colonoscopy due to medical reasons.

Prepare for your CT Colonography appointment