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Benefits of C-Arms for Swallow Studies

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Traditionally, studies for dysphagia, aspiration, esophageal modality disorders, and other suspected swallowing disorders have been performed on R/F rooms in a hospital setting. Now, some practitioners are finding advantages to performing these studies using C-arms. The following are just a few of the diagnostic scenarios where a C-arm could be the fluoroscopy tool of choice.

 

Patients with Limited Mobility

When a patient's condition places limitations on their mobility, a C-arm can accommodate. C-arms ease examination of patients confined to a wheelchair, swallowing chair, or stretcher. A C-arm is also an effective tool for patients that are unable to sit or stand comfortably on a conventional R/F table.

Emergency or ICU Patients

If necessary, swallowing examinations can be done in a hospital emergency department or ICU with a C-arm. This saves the time that would otherwise be required to transport a patient to the radiology department for study in an R/F room.

Independent Practices and Standalone Rehab Centers

Using a C-arm for swallowing studies enables practitioners operating outside a hospital setting to get the images they need without referring patients to another facility or expanding their buildings to include a full R/F suite. This is especially helpful for allowing independent practices and standalone rehabilitation facilities to improve the patient experience and access new revenue from reimbursements.

A Notable Limitation

Using a C-Arm for swallowing disorders does not allow the user the ability to check for gastroesophageal reflux in the same manner as an R/F room. A C-arm is, however, capable of imaging esophageal modality throughout the entire process which is generally acceptable in the majority of cases.

The Takeaway

 If your facility already has both an R/F room and a C-arm, your C-arm could be saving time and discomfort on those occasions where your R/F room just isn't flexible enough. If you work at a facility that has been outsourcing its swallowing studies, a C-arm could be just the option you need to expand your capabilities and open a new revenue stream.

If you'd like to know more about C-arms, R/F rooms, or other fluoroscopy equipment, our team is ready to help. Contact us here to start a conversation and learn, or access more information on your own with any of our other free resources.

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