Your doctor will review the results of the colonoscopy and then share them with you.
Your test results may be:
- 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, 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 or polyp removal can be done the same day as the virtual colonoscopy.
- Finding other abnormalities, if the imaging test detects problems outside the colon, such as in the kidneys, liver or pancreas. These findings may or may not be important, but your doctor may recommend additional testing to determine their cause.
Sept. 21, 2017
- AskMayoExpert. CT colonography. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
- Bibbins-Domingo K, et al. Screening for colorectal cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2016;315:2564.
- Johnson CD, et al. Computed tomographic colonography (virtual colonoscopy): A new method for detecting colorectal neoplasms. Endoscopy. 1997;29:454.
- Hara AK, et al. Detection of colorectal polyps by computed tomographic colography: Feasibility of a novel technique. Gastroenterology. 1996;110:284.
- Colorectal cancer screening. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Aug. 24, 2017.
- Virtual colonoscopy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/virtual-colonoscopy. Accessed Aug. 24, 2017.
- Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan 31, 2017.