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Virtual Colonoscopy

Virtual Colonoscopy at Pall Mall Medical

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What is a Virtual Colonoscopy? 

A Virtual Colonoscopy uses a CT scan to image the colon, rectum and small intestine. The Virtual Colonoscopy is used to diagnose colon and bowel issues, including polyps, diverticulosis and cancer. It also allows the specialist to have a detailed look at other organs such as the liver, kidneys, pancreas, gallbladder and spleen, should they need to. 

In the past, patients would have a Colonoscopy, a surgical procedure, to examine the colon (also known as the large bowel). However, X-Ray technology has advanced so much that it is now possible to have a virtual colonoscopy during a CT scan. Instead of the need to use an invasive private colonoscopy, our consultants can now examine the inside of your colon from the outside of your body using detailed X-Rays.


What symptoms is a virtual colonoscopy used to diagnose?

Virtual Colonoscopies are suitable for those over the age of 45 who have:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Altered bowel habit
  • Anaemia
  • Bloating
  • Palpable mass on examination
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Weight loss

It’s also advisable to have a Virtual Colonoscopy if your family has a significant history of any bowel or colon related cancers (one first-degree relative or three distant relatives). The procedure can be used for private bowel cancer screening, as diagnosis or highlighting if you are at risk of developing cancer.


Why have a Virtual Colonoscopy compared to a traditional Colonoscopy?

With a Virtual Colonoscopy, hundreds of highly detailed images of the colon can be taken without a camera entering the body. Medical specialists will get the images they need to make judgements about conditions which can affect this area, including unexplained weight loss and colorectal cancer. The procedure can also be used for bowel cancer screening, diagnosis and be used during bowel cancer treatments.

Compared to other colonic tests, a Virtual Colonoscopy is a comfortable and non-invasive test. As well as diagnosing issues with the colon, virtual colonoscopies from Pall Mall Medical can also be used to look for issues with internal organs including the pancreas, kidneys and liver.

The treatment can be used for:

  • An alternative when patients are unsuitable for traditional colonoscopy techniques.
  • Detailed imaging of abdominal organs.
  • Improved bowel cancer detection.

Patients can travel home comfortably after the test, without the need for sedation or an overnight stay, as the test is routinely done as an outpatient procedure. The scan will be performed by a radiologist but other clinicians will be called on as needed, such as a bowel cancer specialist or a colorectal surgeon.


The Virtual Colonoscopy Procedure 

During the test you will have two CT scans, one to take images of the back of your bowels (when you’ll be laying on your front) and one on the front of your bowels (when you will lie on your back). Together, these images will create a virtual image of the inside of your bowels.

The procedure usually takes 10 - 20 minutes. You may be given an injection of a muscle relaxant to help relax the muscles of the bowel wall. You may also be given another injection to help imaging.

For more information on the procedure, please visit our page on preparing for a virtual colonoscopy or call our Newton-le-Willows hospital on 01744 624464.


Virtual Colonoscopy prices



Finance - Recommendation 1 Finance - Recommendation 2

Virtual colonscopy


£23.71 per month

(16.9% APR, 24 months)

£30.38 per month

(16.9% APR, 18 months)

* Please note that all Pall Mall Medical Virtual Colonoscopies take place at our Newton-le-Willows Diagnostic and Surgical Centre

** Default deposit amount (25%) can be varied and costs can spread over a longer/shorter period, such that the monthly payment amounts are more suited to each individual situation. Please click here for more information on our finance options, including alternative payment models. Or alternately, please ask one of our dedicated team.

Blogs of interest 

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Signs and symptoms of bowel polyps and bowel cancer - by Consultant Gastroenterologist Dr Subramaniam Ramakrishnan.

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