Overview

Virtual colonoscopy is a minimally invasive exam to screen for cancer of the large intestine (colon cancer). Virtual colonoscopy is also known as a screening CT colonography.

Unlike traditional colonoscopy, which requires a scope to be inserted into your rectum and advanced through your colon, virtual colonoscopy uses a CT scan to produce hundreds of cross-sectional images of your abdominal organs. The images are combined and digitally manipulated to provide a detailed view of the inside of the colon and rectum.

Virtual colonoscopy is one option used to screen for colon cancer. Discuss your colon cancer screening options with your doctor to determine whether virtual colonoscopy is the right option for you.

Mayo Clinic's approach