16.7 C
New Delhi
Thursday 23 January 2020

Colonoscopies get a lot easier

Reston, Virginia: Turning 50 seems to come with its own set of challenges, unlike any other age — be it mental, emotional or physical. It’s also when your doctor is likely to start urging you to get a colonoscopy even if you do not have any symptoms.

But what used to be an unpleasant, albeit necessary and routine procedure, has now become much less invasive, thanks to new technology. The “virtual colonoscopy” (or CT colonography) is now an option for most people who can’t or don’t want to get a standard colonoscopy. It’s being embraced by many doctors and insurers nationwide.

Like its traditional counterpart, the virtual colonoscopy entails drinking a laxative 24 hours prior to the procedure. Unlike the traditional colonoscopy, which involves a long camera-tipped tube, the virtual exam inserts only about a two-inch soft tube that sends small puffs of gas to fill the colon so that a low-radiation dose computer-assisted CT or “CAT” scan can produce 2- and 3-dimensional views of the colon. The entire procedure takes about 15 to 20 minutes, so you don’t need to be put to sleep and you can go right back to daily activities.

“It’s very good in screening, and the patient’s downtime is less,” Dr Guy Barat, a radiologist at Community Hospital in New Port Richey, Florida, told the St Petersburg Times in an interview.

Some diehard traditionalists opine that you still would need a traditional colonoscopy to remove anything found by a virtual colonoscopy. However, the vast majority of exams don’t find anything wrong, and the virtual test has been shown to dramatically increase screening rates. The virtual colonoscopy is an American Cancer Society-recommended screening exam. Even President Obama opted for a virtual colonoscopy over the standard test.

Experts say that the new technology can detect polyps the size of small blueberries, as well as cancer and other diseases. For the more than 140,000 Americans that are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year, with nearly 50,000 dying largely due to late detection, this screening is vital.

The exam has been FDA approved since 1995, and major insurers, including Cigna, United Healthcare, Unicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and others, now cover their members for virtual colonoscopies to screen for colon cancer.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) says the last obstacle to tackle is to somehow get Medicare to cover beneficiaries for this life-saving exam so that seniors can have the same screening alternative as those with private insurance.

Currently, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force is examining virtual colonoscopies. A “passing” grade from the USPSTF could lead directly to Medicare coverage under the Affordable Care Act. For more information, please visit this site.

NewsUSA

Stay on top - Get daily news in your email inbox

Sirf Views

Pandits: 30 Years Since Being Ripped Apart

Pandits say, and rightly so, that their return to Kashmir cannot be pushed without ensuring a homeland for the Islam-ravaged community for conservation of their culture

Fear-Mongering In The Times Of CAA

No one lived in this country with so much fear before,” asserted a friend while dealing with India's newly amended citizenship...

CAA: Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste

So said Winston Churchill, a lesson for sure for Prime Miniter Narendra Modi who will use the opposition's calumny over CAA to his advantage

Archbishop Of Bangalore Spreading Canards About CAA

The letter of Archbishop Peter Machado to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, published in The Indian Express, is ridden with factual inaccuracies

Sabarimala: Why Even 7 Judges Weren’t Deemed Enough

For an answer, the reader will have to go through a history of cases similar to the Sabarimala dispute heard in the Supreme Court

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

For fearless journalism

%d bloggers like this: