Workstation Units: The Forgotten Part of Surgical C-Arms

C-Arm Workstations
C-Arms are modern fluoroscopy imaging systems that draw their name from their C-shaped support arm. However, it is the Workstation Unit, the “forgotten” componant, which gives C-Arms their true diagnostic prowess. The workstation unit houses the “guts and brains” of any C-arm setup. The components, software, and accessories that make up a functioning Mobile C-Arm Workstation range from simple or even antiquated to cutting edge and state-of-the-art. As a result, there is an endless sea of options and considerations presented to those researching and/or purchasing a C-Arm Workstation. Like with most significant purchasing decisions knowledge and information are the keys to understanding what to buy.
C-Arm Workstation Hardware:Workstation Unit of a C-Arm
The workstation unit is the platform that provides extensive customization options for a C-Arm system. Examples of model-specific stock control features include various handles for movement and positioning, power switches, exposure switches, cable hangers, brake pedals, controls for radiographic and fluoroscopic settings, interconnect cables, mechanical, optical or non-volatile electronic storage drives, optical disk writers, PACS hardware, and advanced image quality enhancement processors capable of noise reduction and zoom control…to name a few.
C-Arm Workstation Unit Software:
Workstation units need to be differentiated by more than just hardware; there are a variety of software and applications suites available for different C-arms, each requiring different particular hardware configurations in order to operate properly. Inevitably, certain procedures will call for more features than others. However, various fields of surgery often only require a given set of customized options to complete their work.
The Medical and Surgical industries are rapidly advancing, especially when it comes to technology and the capabilities that these technological advances bring. While it is important to consider the possibility of increased feature needs should one’s practice expand, remember that unused extra options represent nothing more than bells and whistles that ultimately represent significant sunk costs.
General Surgery Needs:C-Arm Workstation Unit Monitor Display
C-arms used in a busy “regular” surgery center often need to do little more than provide some basic image enhancing; Edge enhancement, Averaging, Digital Spot and Pulsed Fluoro. High-use practices performing general surgeries, especially those in emergency medicine, often benefit from increased image storage capacity, digital zoom and roam.
Vascular Surgery Needs:
Surgeons and practices specializing in vascular surgery often require a C-Arm Workstation Unit with Digital-Subtraction Angiography capabilities, as well as Roadmapping and 15fps Cine view. 30fps Cine View is an example of another (costly) option, one which is of little practical benefit outside the cardiac and neurovascular fields.

Quest Imaging Solutions often recommends medical practices invest in C-Arm Workstations that meet their current needs (and budget). Similar to when buying a new laptop or PC, trying to “future proof” one’s software or equipment is often unwise and rarely cost-effective.