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Buying a Bariatric CT Scanner? What to Look For

Benefits of a Bariatric scanner and why radiology departments should consider having one in their imaging arsenal

Bariatric CT scanners are gaining popularity because the have larger bore sizes and come equipped with bigger generators with higher output, increased field of view (FOV) and bigger tables which helps reduce anxiety on claustrophobic and obese patients. In addition, excellent post processing software that can perform cardiac, neuro, various GI studies and even can work, with the right software, as a CT simulator on any size patient.

This article will explain the benefits of a Bariatric scanner and why radiology departments should consider having one in their imaging arsenal.

With the increase of obesity in the United States, (36% adults and, 17% children and adolescents,) bariatric imaging has become commonplace in radiology departments throughout the country.

In the past, CT exams had to be canceled because morbidly obese patients could not fit inside the gantry, or they exceeded the table weight limit. Plus, the image quality was poor due to the numerous artifacts caused by the massive tissue densities.

Patient safety and comfort are not options anymore but requirements

Any kind of movement due to nervousness or discomfort can ruin the study which may require rescheduling or prolonging the scan, depending on the diagnostic quality of the images.

To face these challenges, bariatric scanners are equipped with larger bores sizes, and bigger tables which helps reduce anxiety on patients. In addition, the higher-powered generators allow for quick scan times, increases productivity, and reduces patient’s time in the scanner.

Price points to consider in bariatric CT units


  1.  Bore size 80cm or more
  2. Table weight capacity of 600+lbs
  3. High-generator output 800mA and 140 kVp or more
  4. Large FOV over 65cm

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  1. The larger bore size accommodates larger patients and provides more room to perform biopsy studies.
  2. Higher weight limits allows the table to lower to the floor and move heavier patients through the gantry during the procedure.
  3. Quantum mottle and image noise is reduced with high powered generators. Images are clear an artifact free. Which makes for accurate diagnosis of the scan.
  4. The outer edges of anatomy are no longer missed. The large FOV reduces cropped and truncated Images.

Keep in mind the table takes up about 19 centimeters of gantry space.

Refurbished bariatric scanners are cost effective

Used and refurbished bariatric scanners along with service agreements can make bariatric scanners affordable. There are plenty of high quality refurbished and used models available. The popular brands are GE, Siemens, and Phillips. Some models are equipped with sophisticated iterative reconstruction methods. Also, post processing software packages aids in image reconstruction without the need for increased doses.

Bariatric CT scan machines can accommodate larger patients and perform the same studies that standard CT units can accomplish with less stress on the patient.

Remember there are five things to consider when purchasing a Bariatric CT scanner:

  1. Field of View
  2. weight capacity
  3. slice count
  4. bore size
  5. and generator power.

These differences will affect the CT Scanner price. Be sure to do your research to determine the best options for your department. 



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