CT scanning is a noninvasive, painless medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.
CT imaging uses special X-ray equipment to produce multiple images of the inside of the body and a computer to join them together in cross-sectional views of the area being studied.
The images can then be examined on a computer monitor or printed.
CT scans of internal organs, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels are more clear and detailed than conventional X-ray exams when it's a better clinical option.
MaineGeneral's radiologists have completed CT colonography training, following recommendations and guidelines provided by the American College of Radiology.
CT colonography, also referred to as "virtual colonography (VC)," is more comfortable than a conventional exam; only a small plug is inserted into the rectum versus a long thin tube used in a conventional colonoscopy.
No sedation is needed for the procedure and patients can return to usual activities immediately after it.
CT colonography provides clearer, more detailed images than a conventional X-ray (barium enema). It takes less time (about 20 minutes) than a conventional colonoscopy. As this is a type of X-ray, some exposure to radiation occurs.
The exam also can be less expensive than conventional methods.