We use cookies on our website so it can function correctly. The cookies we use do not store any specific information about you personally and they won’t harm your computer. See our Privacy Policy for more information.

Cookies on hcahealthcare.co.uk

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

Cookie group mandatory

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

These cookies are required


Record information about choices that you have made, and they also allow us to tailor the website to suit your needs.

• YouTube

These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features. For instance, a website may be able to provide you with local weather reports or traffic news by storing in a cookie the region in which you are currently located.

These cookies can also be used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog.

The information these cookies collect are anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.

By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.



Are used to track visitors across website. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers. 

These cookies allow us to advertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf.
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal information is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only.

Performance Cookies

Are used to monitor the use of our website. We use a number of tools that monitor visitor behaviour on our website to help us improve our information and services.


Google Analytics | Google Optimize | adiLP | adiVi | Tealium IQ | Infinity Cloud | AdInsight

These cookies collect information about how visitors use our website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how our website works.

By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

Virtual colonoscopy

CT colonoscopy

A CT colonoscopy — or virtual colonoscopy — is a minimally-invasive way of checking for colon diseases and colon cancer


A CT (computed tomography) colonoscopy is a minimally-invasive test which uses CT scans to check your colon (bowel) for diseases. It does this by creating detailed computer 'models' of your colon, which is why it's sometimes called a 'virtual colonoscopy'. As well as helping to identity problems in your colon, CT colonoscopies can also play a role in detecting colon cancer early.

One advantage of a CT colonoscopy is that it can look beyond the colon and into the pelvis and abdomen. As such, it can help to identify significant problems in other organs.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    You'll be asked to change into a gown when you arrive at the hospital. Your radiologist will explain the scan and answer your questions. They'll then insert a cannula (thin tube) into a vein in your arm or in the back of your hand. They'll use this to inject an X-ray dye and then a relaxant into your bowel. You'll be asked to lie on your left side on a table. Your radiologist will then insert a small tube into your back passage, so they can fill your bowel with air or carbon dioxide so that it is easier view on our computer. You'll then pass under the CT scan a few times, while images are taken of your bowel.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Depending on your consultant's instructions, your bowel may need to be emptied before the test. If this is the case, you'll most likely be put on a special diet for a few days leading up to your scan. You may also be asked to take a special laxative on the day before your test. This will help to show the inside of your bowel in greater detail. It will of course lead to diarrhoea, so we recommend staying near a toilet on the day prior to your scan.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You may experience some bloating, stomach pain or flatulence after the scan, but this is normal and should pass shortly. Your radiologist will let you know when you can go home. The results of your scan will be sent to your GP or consultant. They will explain them to you and let you know if you require any further tests or treatments.
Consultant with patient

Our consultants

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
back to top