Discussion: Colonoscopy Procedures

Healthiertalk.com Discussion: Colonoscopy Procedures

If you describe colonoscopy to someone who’s unfamiliar with the procedure, chances are the novice won’t find the prospect very appealing. But talk to colonoscopy vets, and the responses mostly go something like this: The procedure is a breeze, but the preparation (requiring complete evacuation of the bowels) will not be one of your favorite days.

So if you suggest an alternative to colonoscopy, you’ll probably pique the interest of novice and vet alike. No surprise, then, that the alternative has generated several discussions in the Healthier Talk community forums.

In a discussion covered in the e-Alert on 12/2/05, an HSI member shared her friend’s first-person account of the alternative procedure, which is called computed tomographic colonography (CTC), but more casually referred to as “virtual colonoscopy.” She called the preparation, “the most horrible 24 hours + of my life.” From there, it didn’t get much better: “You have to pump yourself up with air so that they can take the pictures. Filling yourself up with air is undescribable. I thought I was going to blow off the gurney. It takes 7 minutes all told but it was the longest 7 minutes I have ever gone through.”

In a more recent Healthier Talk community thread, members weigh some of the pros and cons of CTC. A member named Oily George notes two drawbacks: 1) Tissue samples can’t be taken during the procedure, so if abnormalities are found, the next step is a conventional colonoscopy, and 2) CTC images cannot detect polyps small than 10 millimeters in diameter. George’s take on it: “That says it all for me.”

But a member named Ignacius found this intriguing information: “I read that an unforseen benefit of the virtual colonoscopy, is that it is detecting more problems and tumors outside the colon than within.”

Along with his posting, Ignacius includes a HealthDay report from August 2005, which details a study in which 500 patients underwent CTC. More than 300 patients had “extracolonic findings,” and in 45 patients the findings were “clinically important,” including lesions, masses in solid organs and large aneurysms.

You can read many more details in the thread titled “Alternatives to Colonoscopy,” in the General Health Topics forum.

Other topics being discussed this week in the Healthier Talk community forums include:

  • Diabetes: Pomegranate juice
  • Heart: Hypertension
  • Hormones: Peri-menopause
  • Allergies: Shingles
  • America’s Country Doctor: Natural ways to use apple cider vinegar
  • General Health Topics: Reversing hair graying

To join in with any of these discussions, just go to www.healthiertalk.com.