CT Colonography (Virtual Colonoscopy)

Computed tomography (CT) colonography or virtual colonoscopy, as it is frequently called, is a minimally invasive exam that uses special x-ray equipment to examine the large intestine for cancer and growths called polyps. It is highly recommended that individuals over the age of 45 are screening for Colorectal Cancer (CRC) to identify it early, significantly improving survival in those in whom it occurs. At Doctors Hospital, we have the most advanced CT scanner in the Caribbean, comparable to or better than most of the leading centres in USA and Europe.

Lowest possible radiation dose

As little as 1/20th of other

Maximum detail to support diagnosis

512 slice matrix gives incredible detail

16cm Wide Coverage

Provides for fastest possible scan time

How is this Different from Traditional Colonoscopy?

Traditional colonoscopy requires a type of scope to be inserted into your rectum and moved or advanced through your lower bowel (colon). CT Colonography uses a CT scan to capture hundreds of cross-sectional images of your bowel and abdominal organs. These images are digitally combined together and to provide a highly detailed view of the inside of your bowel and rectum. The preparation for CT Colonography is very similar to traditional colonoscopy.

CT Colonography is just one option used to screen for colon cancer and you may need to discuss the best colon cancer screening options for you with your doctor. However, some people prefer this as a starting point to avoid going straight to the more invasive traditional colonoscopy and because it images the abdominal cavity, it can also help screen for cancers or abnormalities in other abdominal organs e.g. pancreas or kidneys.

Why Colonography at Doctors Hospital?

5 Unequalled Reasons:

  1. Latest and most advanced CT scanner in the whole Caribbean
  2. GE Revolution CT 512 Slice with Gemstone Dual Technology and 16cm Coverage
  3. Fastest possible scan time (generally just a few minutes)
  4. Lowest available radiation dose
  5. Large bore tube for comfort and reduced claustrophobia

Why CT Colonography Versus Traditional Colonoscopy?

Historically, traditional colonoscopy has been used to screen for colorectal or colon cancer, generally in people who are at least 45 years old. Early identification of bowel cancer is strongly linked to better survival. However, for some, traditional colonoscopy is not advised and for others, the idea of a colonoscopy, having a scope inserted via the rectum, puts them off getting early screening.
So, CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) is a very suitable alternative if:


  • Are at average risk of colon cancer i.e.
    o You are without a history of colon cancer or abnormal bowel tissue
    o You do not have a family history of colon cancer or colon polyps
    o You do not have a chronic inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, or are suffering from acute diverticulitis
  • Prefer not to have sedation or you need to drive following the procedure
  • Are reluctant to have a traditional colonoscopy
  • Are at greater than normal risk of colonoscopy complications, such as excess bleeding because your blood doesn’t clot normally, or you are taking anti-clotting agents
  • Have a bowel obstruction or other abnormality that may increase colonoscopy risk

Studies in Europe and the US are showing that CT colonography has similar detection rates to traditional colonoscopy for cancers and polyps that need further investigation. It won’t remove the need for a colonoscopy if it identifies something that needs further investigation but where everything is normal, it is a quick (especially with our state-of-the-art equipment at Doctors Hospital) and non-invasive screen that avoids colonoscopy for the majority.

Additionally, because it involves imaging the entire abdominal cavity and pelvic region, , it can identify other problems besides colorectal cancers, and is thus more comprehensive. These include abnormalities of the kidneys, pancreas or liver.

Are there any risks?

CT Colonography is a generally safe, procedure that is less invasive than the alternatives.


  • Tear (perforation) in the colon or rectum. For the procedure, the colon and rectum are inflated with air or gas and this carries a very small risk of causing a tear. The risk, however, is lower than that of traditional colonoscopy.
  • Exposure to a low level of radiation. The procedure uses a small dose of radiation to create the images of your colon and rectum. We use the lowest dose of radiation possible to create a clear image and at Doctors Hospital, our advanced equipment captures a greater portion with each slice, also resulting in a very fast scan time, all contributing to an even lower radiation dose than normal. Generally, the radiation dose is similar to the amount of natural radiation you might be exposed to in two years, already much less than the amount used for a diagnostic CT scan, but at Doctors Hospital it is far lower than a typical CT scanner because of our advanced equipment.

Booking Your CT Colonography

Scheduling a Patient

To schedule a CT Scan, Doctors Hospital requires a copy of the patient’s requisition form from their physician. Once we receive the request from the patient for the examination, depending on whether the patient has insurance, a Doctors Hospital representative will request pre-certification. Once approval is received from the patient’s insurance company, we will contact them for an appointment.

If the patient will be paying out of pocket, or has a STAT referral, we will review the appointment request and determine the preparation required for the examination before scheduling.

For Referring Doctors

Physicians can send Doctors Hospital’s Radiology department an email (Imaging@doctorshospitalcayman.com) with the patient’s insurance information and the CT request form.

They can also call us at 640-1441 or 640-1432 to discuss availability and book an appointment.

Meet Our Physicians

At Doctors Hospital, our physicians strive to provide quality care and the best clinical outcomes. With decades of local, regional and international experience and a range of clinical services and specialities offered, our team of physicians are here to help empower you on your journey to wellness.