Buxton wrote:It was suggested that I have a colonography about five years after my colonoscopy which was all clear. That time has arrived now and as I have health anxiety, I’m wondering if it’s really necessary. I’ve read that polyps can take up to ten years to grow? The initial surgery was in November 2013, an acute extended right hemicolectomy. All CEA tests and an earlier colonoscopy have been ok. I’m 76. Any thoughts would be appreciated. John.
OK, here are my thoughts.
1. I think you should go through with the colonography if for no other reason than it will set your mind at ease when you get the results. I think it's probably necessary. It can detect other things besides polyps -- for example, patches of diverticulosis.
2. For persons over 70, I think it is standard practice to do virtual colonoscopies rather than regular ones because of the likely fragility of the aging colon and the possibility of a colon perforation if a normal colonoscopy is done.
3. Before doing a virtual colonography be sure to read whatever you can about the procedure in advance. For example, overviews such as the following can be very useful:https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/tests/ct-colonography
4. I found the virtual colonography procedure to be a bit more uncomfortable than a regular colonoscopy. This is in part because they may not give as much sedation, or any sedation at all, as compared to the standard colonoscopy procedure. A standard colonoscopy is not really painful at all because of the level of sedation used.
5. The main discomfort I experienced was with the CT-scan prep procedure used while lying inside the CT scanner. Just before they do the scan they will want to inflate your colon with a bit of inert gas so that the details of the scan come out distinct rather than blurry. This is different from what happens with a regular CT scan.
6.The interpretation of the results is different, too, since it will probably be done by a radiologist, not by a gastroenterologist, and part of the findings may come from artificial intelligence if the CT scanner they use is equipped with an AI module for colonography.