Your doctor will review the results of the colonoscopy and then share the results with you.

  • Negative result. A virtual colonoscopy is considered negative if the doctor doesn't find any abnormalities in the colon. If you're at average risk of colon cancer — you have no colon cancer risk factors other than age — your doctor may recommend repeating the exam in five years.
  • Positive result. A virtual colonoscopy is considered positive if the images reveal any polyps or other abnormal tissue in the colon. Depending on the size and number of polyps, your doctor may recommend a traditional colonoscopy to obtain samples of the abnormal tissue or remove the polyps. In some cases, the traditional colonoscopy can be done the same day as the virtual colonoscopy — but you'll need someone to take you home afterward because a traditional colonoscopy is typically done under sedation.

If your doctor is concerned about the quality of the view obtained with virtual colonoscopy, a repeat virtual colonoscopy or another screening test may be recommended.

Jun. 18, 2011