Adding a C-arm for hysterosalpingography (HSG) procedures at your reproductive medicine practice can be daunting. The process raises many questions about the level of technology and support. On top of that are questions about recuperating cost, as many insurers do not cover HSG.
In the midst of these questions, as a provider of C-arm equipment for all specialties, we'd like to offer the following suggestions to help guide you in your decision.
Don't Settle on Image Quality
Given the nature of HSG, overall image quality holds a high level of importance. High resolution is a must for clarity and detail of fine reproductive structures and any tumors, fibroids, or adhesions that may be present in them. Using an older machine with lower resolution may put you and/or your patients in a risky position for both health and liability. Our recommendation is a system with a minimum 1k x 1k imaging chain. Examples of systems in this range include the OEC 9800 and Siemens Arcadis Varic.
Be Sure You Have Enough Power
When scanning heavier patients or when adjusting for lateral views, a considerable amount of X-ray penetration power may be necessary. This means you'll want a system with a rotating anode tube and a generator of at least mid-range strength. An under-powered machine in these circumstances could result in poor image quality. As with image quality, systems like the OEC 9800, and Siemens Arcadis Varic fall in the appropriate power range.
Cost and Capital Management
in many circumstances there are several unknowns when a reproductive medicine practice adds a C-arm. You may not have a firm forecast of patient volume or what reimbursements will be. This uncertainty can lead some to consider older vintage, more economy-line units. While those systems are still an option, one we've seen work better is for facilities to work with a company that gives them some flexibility. Examples of what a flexible provider offers include in-house system demos and system trials on a short-term rental basis with rental fees that can be applied as equity toward a purchase later.
Don’t Forget the Table
You don’t want to select and budget for a C-arm and forget to include the table. This expense can be significant. You’ll need a table with compatible stirrups and full radio translucency. Depending on the number of movements you prefer and whether any used tables are available, the cost can be $5,000 to $20,000. People tend to hold onto these even when they get a new C-arm, so availability of used tables can often be low.
It's true that you probably don’t require the latest and greatest; there’s no need to spend $150,000 on a C-arm for HSG, but there's also no need to take chances on equipment with insufficient power or image quality. We believe the "sweet spot" is finding a refurbished option with a rotating anode tube, 1k x 1k imaging chain, and solid ongoing support. A system with these qualifications will meet your power and image quality needs while addressing the complicated realities of cash outlay at a fraction of the cost of a new system.
Whichever model you ultimately choose, our team is ready to help. Contact us with the button below to learn more about selecting and budgeting for the best C-arm for your HSG studies.