Virtual Colonoscopy (CT)

A virtual colonoscopy uses computerized technology (CT scan) to create cross-sectional images of the bowel and to diagnose conditions of the bowel.

The virtual colonoscopy is provided by the Medical Imaging Department.

How to access our services?

You need a referral from your physician to schedule an appointment for this exam.

About The Program

Before your appointment

  1. Your family physician will fax us a referral. Please ensure that your physician’s office has your up-to-date contact information so we can contact you.
  2. Our office will contact you within a few days after receiving the referral from your physician to book an appointment, which will be scheduled within 30 days.
  3. At least three days before the exam, you must come to the Medical Imaging Reception located in Block D to pick up a product and instructions to prepare for the exam.
  4. A few days before the exam, we will call you to remind you of your appointment.

What to bring

  • Health card
  • List of all your medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbal medicines.

Exam preparation

Preparation for a colonoscopy includes several steps carried out over two days. How well you prepare will have a direct impact on the quality of your exam. Please strictly follow instructions to ensure the most precise results.

At least three days before the exam

Purchase these products at the pharmacy:

  • GoLYTELY (or Colyte or Peglyte)
  • Laxatives: 6 tablets of 5 mg of Bisacodyl

Visit the hospital to pick up these products:

  • Readi-Cat (1 bottle)
  • Preparation sheet with instructions
  • Please pick up the Readi-Cat at the Medical Imaging Reception in Block D on weekdays, between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Two days before the exam

  • You must follow a special diet for two days. The goal of this diet is to eliminate fiber, fat and solid content from your intestines.
  • During this period of preparation you must drink at least one glass (240 ml) of water or clear liquid every hour.

Clear liquids permitted

  • Water
  • Fruit juice without pulp (apple, orange, lemonade or white grape)
  • Clear soft drinks (7UP, Sprite)
  • Gatorade or similar products

Food and products to avoid

  • Dairy products
  • Alcohol
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Tomato and prune juices
  • Butter and other fatty products such as cream, margarine, canola oil and olive oil

Foods you can eat

  • Boiled or poached eggs
  • White bread without butter or margarine
  • Skinless turkey or chicken, cooked without fat
  • Fish cooked without fat
  • Boiled potatoes without skin
  • White rice
  • White pasta
  • All items included in the Clear liquids list

The day before the exam

  • You cannot eat solid foods the day before the exam. You must follow a liquid-only diet to ensure your intestines are empty.
  • You must drink at least one glass of water each hour until night time.

Liquid diet

  • Clear broth or consommé
  • Ensure or similar product without fibre, vanilla flavoured only
  • Jello
  • Popsicle
  • Tea or coffee without milk or cream – sugar and honey are permitted

Breakfast

  • Take ¼ of the bottle of Readi-Cat
  • Item(s) from the liquid diet menu (your choice)
  • Prepare the GoLYTELY mixtures according to the directions on the package and place in refrigerator.

Lunch

  • Take 4 tablets of Bisacodyl 5 mg laxatives.
  • If you feel very ill after taking the laxative, do not take any more. Please consult your physician or visit the HGH emergency department.
  • Take ¼ of the bottle of Readi-Cat.
  • Item(s) from the liquid diet menu (your choice).

At 5:00 p.m.

  • Drink 2 litres of GoLYTELY, taking one glass every 10 minutes.
  • Your stools should be liquid and clear or light yellow in colour. If not, continue to drink the GoLYTELY until your stools are liquid and clear or light yellow.

Dinner

  • Take ¼ of the bottle of Readi-Cat
  • Item(s) from the liquid diet menu (your choice).

At 10:00 p.m.

  • Take 2 tablets of Bisacodyl 5 mg laxatives

From midnight on

  • Nothing more to eat or drink prior to the exam.

The morning of the exam

  • Do not eat or drink.
  • If there are medications you need to take, you can do so with a small bit of water.
  • Bring a snack to eat after the exam.

When you arrive

  • Please register at the self-service registration kiosk located at the Main Entrance at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
  • After registration, report to the Medical Imaging Reception located in Block D.
  • You will be asked to remove your clothes and wear a hospital gown.
  • You will have to remove your jewelry, piercings, glasses and any metal objects.

Exam process

  • During the exam, you will be lying down on a table.
  • A muscle relaxant will be injected to prevent intestinal spasms.
  • Next, a tube will be inserted into the rectum and CO2 gas will be used to fill the intestine. This gas allows images to be taken by the CT scanner with minimal stomach cramps.
  • Images are taken while you are lying down on your back and on your stomach. Sometimes images are also taken while you lie on your side.
  • Some people experience mild cramping or bloating during the exam.
  • The exam lasts about 30 minutes.
  • You can resume your normal eating habits right after the exam.
  • If you are driving a vehicle, you must wait one hour after the exam before leaving. If someone is driving you, you can leave the hospital immediately after the exam.

Test results

  • Radiology technologists are not able to give you the results of your exam. Results will be sent to your physician within 10 working days.
  • Results will also be available in your electronic medical record. For information on the creation of an account and how to access your electronic medical record, visit MyChart.
  • The physician who referred you for the exam will give you your results; therefore, you will need to schedule an appointment with this physician.