Virtual colonoscopy carries few risks:

  • A tear (perforation) can occur in the colon or rectum wall due to the colon and rectum being inflated with air or carbon dioxide.
  • An adverse reaction to the contrast agent sometimes used can occur.
  • Radiation exposure during a CT scan may be a concern. The level of radiation used during a screening CT scan, such as a virtual colonoscopy, is lower than the amount of radiation used in a diagnostic CT scan. Radiation used during a virtual colonoscopy is unlikely to be dangerous, but the effect of cumulative radiation exposure after repeated exams is unknown.
Jun. 18, 2011