Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Men's Health

Font Size

Virtual Colonoscopy Shows Promise

Study Shows It's Less Invasive and Possibly More Effective Than Conventional Screening


In fact, an analysis of 16 previous studies presented in October before the American College of Gastroenterology indicated that virtual colonoscopy missed 27% of colorectal lesions that were picked up by conventional colonoscopy.

"Based on that analysis, that means one in five patients had polyps missed with virtual colonoscopy that were picked up with conventional colonoscopy," says Aaron A. Link, MD, of the University of Michigan, who headed that analysis.

"It would be great if these new findings could be replicated because there are many times when virtual colonoscopy is very useful," Link tells WebMD. "It's certainly easier on the patient, and many aren't agreeable to conventional colonoscopy."

Only about 40% of Americans at risk for colon cancer -- the second largest cause of cancer-related death -- get screened because they say colonoscopy is unpleasant. The procedure is recommended for all people after age 50, and earlier for those with a family history of colon cancer or other bowel diseases. Guidelines recommend screening of adults who are at average risk because detection and removal of polyps has been shown to virtually eliminate the risk of colon cancer.

"The goal of screening with virtual colonoscopy is to increase the number of patients that would participate," says Choi.

Still, the newer virtual method can only screen the colon for the presence of polyps. If a polyp is detected, traditional colonoscopy or surgery is needed to remove it.


Today on WebMD

Life Cycle of a Penis
Preacher Curl
testosterone molecule
Xray of foot highlighting gout
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Man taking blood pressure
doctor holding syringe
Condom Quiz
man running
older couple in bed