The CT scanner is a ring shape with a table that moves through the centre of the ring. The scanner is open and not enclosed. CT scans are quick taking between 5-15 minutes to perform. It is safe to have a CT scan with a pacemaker.

Radiation dose

A CT scan uses radiation but the dose you receive is well controlled and small. It is important that the benefits of doing your scan outweigh the risks of the radiation used – something your doctor will consider when referring you. Below is a table detailing the risk of typical CT doses.

Before you arrive

Read your letter carefully for any preparation required before your scan. These instructions are to help improve the quality of the scan.

It is important you try to arrive on time for your appointment and at the correct hospital. Scanning lists are very busy and we cannot guarantee that late arrivals or arrivals to the wrong site will be accommodated.

When you arrive

Ensure you book in using the self-service or through a receptionist.

It will state on your letter if you have to drink 1 litre of water for half an hour prior to your scan. You can go to the toilet during this time. A full bladder is not necessary for any of our scans.

During your scan

It is helpful to wear clothing that does not contain metal and remove all jewellery. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown if this is not possible.

During the scan you will be required to lie down on the table.

The radiographer will then confirm your details. If you are female and aged between 12-55 you will be asked about the possibility of pregnancy.

If you are having contrast with your scan you will be asked questions about allergies, medication and health conditions. The contrast contains iodine and is not radioactive. A cannula will be inserted into a vein in your arm or hand to allow us to inject the contrast during the scan.

The radiographer will be with you at all times except when the x-rays are on.

After your scan

If you have had a plain scan you are free to leave immediately after the scan.

If you have had a contrast injection you will be asked to wait in the department for 15 minutes with your cannula in place. This is to make sure you feel ok. After 20 minutes your cannula will be removed and you will be free to leave and resume normal activities.


You will not get any results on the day of your scan.

You will receive your results from the doctor who referred you for the scan. The doctor may write to you, call you or invite you in to a clinic appointment for results.

Results can take up to 10 working days to be available.

Referral routes

A referral is made by your doctor. This referral is assessed by one of our Radiologists prior to booking an appointment to ensure you receive the appropriate exam.

Locations and opening hours

Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy
Open Monday to Friday between 08:45 and 17:00.

Queen Margaret Hospital
Open Monday to Friday between 08:45 and 16:30.