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You don’t need an anaesthetic or a sedative for a virtual colonoscopy. This means you’ll be awake during the procedure. It can be a bit uncomfortable, but isn’t usually painful. Find out more in our section on the procedure.
You may have a bit of discomfort when the radiographer pumps gas into your bowel but this isn’t usually painful. Your tummy might feel a bit painful and bloated afterwards but this wears off quickly. You can read more in our sections on the procedure and aftercare.
The benefits of each type of colonoscopy depend on your personal circumstances. The two tests are equally good at picking up bowel cancer. A virtual colonoscopy is less invasive and you don’t need sedation. This means it can be a better option for elderly or frail people. But you can only have a biopsy (sample of tissue) or polyps removed with a standard colonoscopy. See our About section for more information on reasons for having one test or the other.
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This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals and deemed accurate on the date of review. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition.
Any information about a treatment or procedure is generic, and does not necessarily describe that treatment or procedure as delivered by Bupa or its associated providers.
The information contained on this page and in any third party websites referred to on this page is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor is it intended to be for medical diagnosis or treatment. Third party websites are not owned or controlled by Bupa and any individual may be able to access and post messages on them. Bupa is not responsible for the content or availability of these third party websites. We do not accept advertising on this page.
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