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What are the advantages?

  • No endoscopic tube needs to be inserted into the entire length of the colon

  • do not require anaesthesia or sedation

    Patients do not require anaesthesia or sedation and can return home on their own or get back to work immediately after the test

  • the images are clearer

    The images provided are clearer and more detailed compared to Double Contrast Barium Enema

  • takes less time

    The procedure takes less time than Traditional Colonoscopy or Double Contrast Barium Enema

  • Can be used even on an inflamed colon

    This procedure can be used on a bowel narrowed or obstructed due to inflammation or to an abnormal growth

  • Better visualization of the colon

    Virtual colonoscopy is the preferred total colonic imaging examination after incomplete screening or diagnostic traditional colonoscopy since it is sometimes difficult to visualize the entire colon with the traditional colonoscopy. As well, for patients who cannot safely discontinue anticoagulation therapy and for patients who refuse endoscopy, the virtual colonoscopy is a valid alternative

  • Viewing the adjacent organs

    Unlike traditional colonoscopy, where you are limited to only visualize the colon, virtual colonoscopy provides you with an added benefit allowing you to see beyond the colon. Because the whole abdomen, pelvis and lower lung fields are scanned, virtual colonoscopy provides additional views of the adjacent organs such as the liver, the spleen, the pancreas, the kidneys, the prostate, the uterus, the abdominal aorta etc and in approximately 10% of cases, the virtual colonoscopy enables early detection of other conditions unrelated to colorectal cancer (kidney cancer, cancer of the lungs, cysts in the liver etc)

And the main disadvantages?

  • Can not be combined with biopsy

    Virtual colonoscopy does not allow the doctor to remove tissue samples (biopsy) or polyps. If abnormalities are found, traditional colonoscopy must be performed

  • accessibility

    Virtual colonoscopy is a newer procedure which requires a more sophisticated CT scan and highly trained radiologists. Therefore, it is not widely available

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