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After changing into a gown, you will lie on your right side on the CT scanner table. A nurse will place a small soft tube into your rectum and administer CO2 gas. As your bowel distends, you may experience a temporary bloated feeling and mild discomfort. You will be scanned initially lying on your back, then on your right side. If needed, you may also be scanned lying on your stomach.
CT Virtual Colonoscopy Exam Preparation
Just like prep for a regular colonoscopy, your colon must be as empty as possible. In addition to laxatives, a CT virtual colonoscopy requires "contrast agents." These are special materials you will drink to coat your colon. This makes the pictures clearer for the radiologist to interpret your exam. These contrast agents are essential for the exam.
Take your routine and prescribed medications throughout the preparation. If you take heart or blood pressure medications, or prednisone or other steroids, take them before 07:00am with a sip of water on the day of your exam. If you take insulin, the dose may need to be adjusted during your prep day and the day of the exam. Contact the doctor who manages your diabetes for instructions.
For seven (7) days before your exam:
Do not take iron pills (ferrous sulfate).
Do not eat foods with seeds, such as poppy, tomatoes, watermelon, or cucumbers. Do not eat celery, grapes, blueberries, corn, green peas, beans, seaweed, popcorn or, nuts.
Eligibility for a same-day traditional colonoscopy if polyps are found.
Consult with your physician if you are able to stop taking Plavix, Coumadin or other anticoagulant for 7 days prior to your scheduled exam. Not all same-day traditional colonoscopies will require a patient to be off Plavix or Coumadin, although it is preferred. Each case will be reviewed, and GI consulted for approval. In addition, patients must have a responsible adult driver to be eligible for a same-day traditional colonoscopy.
If you take insulin, the dose may need to be adjusted during your prep day and the day of the exam. Contact the doctor who manages your diabetes for instructions.
Additional bowel prep instructions will be provided with your bowel prep prescription.
Insurance Coverage: CT Virtual Colonoscopy (diagnostic versus screening)
A CTVC is considered diagnostic if it is a medical necessity (as documented by your referring physician). For example, it is ordered because of prior failed/incomplete colonoscopy, history of colon cancer, colon resection, or long-term history of anticoagulant therapy.
CTVC diagnostic exams are covered by most insurance payers, including Medicare and Tricare.
A CTVC that is not deemed medically necessary is considered a screening CTVC. The patient is able to have a standard colonoscopy but prefers to have a CTVC screening instead.
Some private payers may cover CTVC screenings. Currently Medicare and Tricare do not cover screenings.
Self-pay cost for eligible patients after discount is $1328.60 (technical & professional fees).
Pricing is subject to change without notice. For questions, please contact Patient Financial Services at 1-800-549-3720, Mon - Fri, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.