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What is a C-Arm?

You may know the C-Arm as an imaging device that uses X-Ray technology and has a C shape, making it able to be used flexibly in many different areas within a clinic.

The C-Arm is commonly used for intraoperative imaging and in the fields of orthopedics, traumatology, vascular surgery, and cardiology. In the operating room, C-Arms help visualize kidney drainage, abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysm repair, percataneous valve replacements, cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, gastroenterology, neuro stimulation, pain management, neurology procedures, and more.

The C-Arm comprises of an X-Ray source and an image intensifier or flat-panel detector. The C shape of the machine comes in handy as it allows the system to move any way needed in order to garner images of the patient.

When the X-Rays enter the patient’s body, the image intensifier or detector converts the X-Rays into an image that shows up on the C-Arm monitor. Then the physician present can check anatomical details at any point, allowing surgeons to monitor progress in real time; that way, if any mistakes are made, they can be corrected immediately.

One can choose from an analog C-Arm or a digital C-Arm, analogs using image intensifiers with lower image quality, but available at lower prices; and digital C-Arms, which use a flat panel detector and produces better image quality, but at a higher price point. In addition to Full Size C-Arms there are Mini C-Arms, which are better suited for sports medicine, orthopedic, and podiatric imaging.

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