Virtual CT Scan Colonoscopy

This Simple Test Can Save Your LifeCT-Scan_2013.jpg

Virtual CT scan colonoscopy uses a computed tomography (CAT) scanner to visualize the large intestine. The CT scan takes multiple cross-sectional images of the abdomen and uses a computer program to create a three-dimensional model of the bowel.
This high-tech procedure allows an inside view of the large intestine that is ordinarily only seen with a more invasive procedure in which an endoscope inserted into the rectum and passed through the intestines. 
Virtual CT scan colonoscopies do not require an intravenous injection of contrast dyes. Winchester Hospital’s CT services are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). 

How the Test is Done

The instructions will be provided to you by the physician who orders the test. You will prepare the same way you would for a standard colonoscopy. You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You will be given a hospital gown to wear during the procedure. 
The technologist begins by positioning you on your side on the CT scan examination table. Pillows will be provided for comfort. The technologist will insert a tube into your rectum. A radiologist will gently pump air into your colon through the tube.
Once your colon is filled with air, the table will move through a large scanner that will take two sets of pictures. The first picture will be scanned while you lie flat on your back. The second will be taken while you lie on your stomach. Your exam will take approximately 45 minutes.
The majority of patients report a feeling of fullness when the colon is filled with air, which may feel uncomfortable. The scanning procedure itself causes no pain or other symptoms.
Afterwards you may have abdominal gas, but you can resume normal activities including eating and drinking immediately after the exam.

How to Schedule Your Exam

Please call Winchester Hospital’s centralized scheduling office at 781-756-2211. All exams require either an electronic or written order which can be faxed to 781-756-8709, provided by your physician, prior to scheduling the appointment. Your exam may require a pre-authorization from your insurance carrier. Please check with your insurance company.

Paying for Your Exam

Although Winchester Hospital accepts most major commercial insurance plans, Medicare, Medicaid and Worker’s Compensation, it is important to check with your insurance carrier prior to exam to determine coverage. If you do not have health insurance, please call the Estimates phone line at 781-744-8779. Please contact Customer Service at 781-744-8772 to arrange a payment prior to your exam.

Getting Your Results 

Your exam will be interpreted by a Radiologist using our state-of-the-art picture archiving and communication system (PACS). The results are sent to your doctor, who in turn will review the results with you to determine best course of treatment. To get a copy of your images, you will need to prearrange their release.

A notice of 24 hours is preferred for most efficient customer service. Urgent requests will be honored but there may be a 30 to 60 minute wait.

Imaging Services

Winchester Hospital offers a wide array of leading-edge diagnostic imaging services close to home, led by a team of highly-skilled general and specialty radiologists, nurses, technologists and support staff.

Home Care Services

At every stage of life and for every medical need, Winchester Home Care can help, with home care services for people facing challenges of later life stages, with new babies, with disabilities, fighting illnesses, and more.


Exceptional Nurses

Winchester Hospital was the first community hospital in Massachusetts to earn Magnet recognition, which recognizes quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.