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Q&A: Not Your Typical C-Arm

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Joe Shrawder, President and CEO of GE Healthcare Surgery.

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The OEC 9900 Elite MD is the only mobile C-arm that offers a remote user interface.

Think you know C-arms? Think again. The OEC 9900 Elite answers C-arm critics like no other C-arm can.

There are common perceptions within the industry of what a C-arm can and cannot do. While some limitations, from overheating to maneuverability, may be fair criticisms of many C-arms, Joe Shrawder, president and CEO of GE Healthcare Surgery explains why they don’t apply to the OEC 9900 Elite.

We discussed with Joe some common concerns linked with C-arms, and how GE Healthcare’s OEC 9900 Elite answers them.


What do you think about the perception that C-arms lack the power for adequate penetration?
The power, precision and performance of the OEC 9900 Elite allow the surgeon to obtain sharp images even in complex endovascular cases. The OEC patented battery buffered technology boosts power to maximize performance when the surgeon needs it. OEC’s 15 kw generator ensures optimum penetration of dense anatomy – which means getting a clear image the first time can eliminate the need to take a second image.


Is it true that X-ray tube may overheat during extended fluoroscopy?
Unlike other C-arms, the OEC 9900 Elite has a unique X-ray tube and cooling system that allows for full-resolution imaging for longer periods of time. With 22% more target cooling and up to 100% housing cooling than the 9800, the 9900 Elite enhances procedural capabilities. This makes the OEC 9900 Elite a valid option for operating rooms in which complex interventional procedures are performed.

Click here to see how the OEC 9900 Elite is used in one hybrid OR.


Do you think that portable C-arms lack the sophisticated and quality imaging capability that physicians need for catheter-based procedures?
The OEC 9900 Elite digital mobile imaging system uses its powerful computer to deploy Dynamic Range Management to combine various image algorithms that optimize fluoroscopic images. An incoming image is divided into six different sub-images during image processing. Each sub-image contains different anatomical information. Rather than processing the entire image at once, each anatomical sub-image is processed separately for optimum brightness, contrast and enhancement levels. After processing, all the sub-images are re-combined to create the final image. As a result, the DRM capabilities of the 9900 Elite processes both lower and higher density regions of the anatomical structure effectively and displays clear images of bones and tissues in a single view.

The OEC 9900 Elite’s unique DRM image processing capability enables a special imaging feature called Motion Tolerant Subtraction — allowing the user to perform DSA without a mask image. Background anatomy is attenuated and contrast-filled vessels are enhanced. As a result, the user can create similar to DSA images in motion, thus reducing number of runs, contrast injections and potential radiation dose.


Are Mobile C-arms difficult to position to get the right image?
The OEC 9900 Elite MD is the only mobile C-arm that offers a remote user interface, allowing the surgeon to control the C-arm from a table-side panel. The MD can optimize surgical productivity through improved workflow.

The SmartView pivot joint, exclusive to OEC, allows freer range of motion to help position the C-arm correctly. Better positioning can reduce dose and improve procedural workflow because it can eliminate the need for additional images.

Click here to see how SmartView works.