C-Arms have been on the market for a long time, longer than Atlantis Worldwide has been in business. For the last 24 years, we've been buying, selling and refurbishing C-Arms. Every year from 1993 to 2004 to 2017, our customers have been saying the same thing; "sell us a pre-owned C-Arm that isn't too old." It’s rare to find a pre-owned C-Arm that is just a few years old because the original purchaser of the system doesn’t have a reason to replace it. But truth be told, the age of a C-Arm doesn't necessarily indicate the overall quality of that system. There are many factors that come into play when determining the overall quality of a used C-Arm:
When considering a pre-owned C-Arm, the most important feature to consider is the image quality. The fluoroscopic image quality is critical during all minimally invasive procedures that are reliant on intraoperative imaging. While the age of the system will have an impact the image quality to an extent, the wear-and-tear the system has endured will be more impactful on image quality.
How rigorously the C-Arm was used at its prior location is very important. While the age of the system plays a part, a better rule of thumb is that the more use a C-Arm has endured, the worse the image quality is. C-Arms previously located at smaller clinics will generally be better maintained than systems coming from big hospitals. We have seen OEC 9800s from 2001 in great condition and we have also seen OEC 9800s from 2005 that were extremely bad shape.
The New vs. The Old
There are many new C-Arms hitting the market at reasonable prices from various manufacturers. The best example of this is the OEC Brivo C-Arm. While the pricing may be appealing, you should always make sure the quality of the system meets your standards. The OEC Brivo has a 2.2 kW generator which pales in comparison to the 15kW generator of the OEC 9800 and OEC 8800. It is even less than the 4kW generator on the OEC 9600. The lower generator power will produce a low-quality image especially on larger patients.
Prior to purchasing a pre-owned C-Arm, you need to do some leg work to find the best C-Arm at the appropriate price. The idea that a younger C-Arm is a better C-Arm is not always accurate. That even holds true when you compare pre-owned and refurbished systems to the new C-Arms being manufactured by the OEMs. The age of your C-Arm is just a number. But the quality and value of your C-Arm can be priceless.
As an authority in the complex industry of refurbished and used radiology equipment, we are known for integrity, expertise, and a straightforward approach. The work we do everyday is solidly based on quality products and reliable service. Our reputation depends on it.
Atlantis Worldwide stands behind our diagnostic products and services. We guarantee that our refurbished medical imaging equipment is of excellent quality. We have clients across the United States and in more than fifty countries worldwide. Just listen to their testimonials.
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Meet the author: Alex Silbergleit