CT colonography

virtual colonoscopy, CT colonograpy

CT colonography is a minimally invasive procedure compared to a conventional colonoscopy, that’s used to investigate and diagnose problems in the large intestine.


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What is it for?

To investigate problems in the large intestine


Computed tomography (CT) colonography is a procedure that uses a CT scanner to take x-ray images of the inside of your whole belly, and in particular your colon (also known as the large intestine and large bowel).

Your doctors and care team may also refer to CT colonography as CTC or a virtual colonoscopy.

CT colonography is mainly used to look for polyps and cancers in the colon and rectum.

It’s also used to investigate symptoms such as changes in your bowel movements and blood in your poo.

The main benefit of a CT colonography over a conventional colonoscopy is that it’s not an invasive procedure.

This means it’s often used for people who are too frail to have a colonoscopy, or if there are other reasons why a colonoscopy is not suitable.

At The London Clinic, your CT colonography will be overseen by world-class radiologists and an expert multidisciplinary team who have a lot of experience carrying out this type of procedure.

You’ll also be scanned by a state-of-the-art CT scanner that allows us to create 3D images from inside your body.

As one of our patients, you’ll also receive exceptional personalised care and support that puts your wellbeing and recovery at the heart of your experience with us.

Contact us today to find out more about our private CT colonography service and start your five-star journey with The London Clinic.

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Why might I need CT colonography?

Your consultant may recommend a virtual colonoscopy to look for signs of bowel cancer and diagnose other bowel conditions such as Crohn’s disease.

A colonoscopy may also be used to investigate new bowel symptoms including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • A change in your bowel movements, such as diarrhoea or constipation
  • Blood in your poo
  • Suspected polyps
  • Weight loss

Why choose The London Clinic

Excellence in one place

We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.

Personal care, every time

Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.

Effortlessly simple

We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.

What's included in your package?

Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.


Your treatment package will include:

  • Enhanced pre-admission assessment
  • Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
  • Personalised aftercare and follow-up

We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.

How to pay

  • You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
  • You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
  • If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis


Your world-leading radiologist will perform your virtual colonoscopy as an outpatient procedure. It usually lasts about 20 minutes.

To start, you’ll be asked to lie on a CT scanning table while a radiologist injects medicine to make the muscles of your bowel wall relax.

Next, the radiologist will place a thin tube into your bottom so carbon dioxide can be blown into your bowel.

This will expand your bowel so clearer images of inside your colon can be seen.

The radiologist will then move a CT scanner around the outside of your body to take images from different angles. This will involve you lying on your back and your front.

Overall, the CT scanner will take around 600 ‘image slices’.

These images are then used by a computer to create 3D images of your large intestine and other areas of your belly.

Before your virtual colonoscopy, you'll need to empty your bowel.

This is to help your consultant get clear views of inside your colon.

To empty your bowel, you’ll be given pills or a medicine, such as a laxative, to take the day before your procedure.

Two days before your CT colonography, your consultant may also ask you to swallow a special fluid containing iodine. This helps the CT scanner to produce better images of the inside of your colon.

If you know you’re allergic to iodine, you should tell your consultant straightaway.

You should also tell your consultant if you’re pregnant, because the x-rays carried by the CT scanner could affect your unborn baby.


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