Which OEC C-Arm should I buy?


Like most things in life, it ultimately comes down features, benefits, and price.

Every time you’ve bought a car, you’ve gone through it.  First you must decide what kind of car you need, what kind of car you want, and what kind of car you can afford.

If money is no issue, you usually buy a brand-new car, right? Maybe even a very expensive brand-new car.


Or maybe you want to save some money and buy a used car from a dealership with a good reputation. Or maybe you just want to spend the least amount of your money, and so you buy a used car from Craig’s List, Ebay or from elsewhere on the internet. And you pray.

It’s similar when buying a c-arm. You know that price is usually (but not always) inversely proportional to risk.

But first you must decide which one you want/need. There are really three viable choices left if you’re an GE/OEC C-Arm fan (like me). The 9600, the 9800, and the 9900.

The OEC 9600 is the oldest of that group, originally made in the mid to late 1990’s. They were very good c-arms for the time. They would be the least expensive systems and, in many cases, would be a very smart choice today.

The OEC 9800 systems were made from the late 1990’s through about 2006. You really can’t go wrong with the 9800. You will pay more than you would for a 9600, but it’s a better system.

The OEC 9900 systems are the newest and most expensive (even if you purchase them used). They can even be purchased with new flat panel detectors, if you want the latest technology. Of course, those are even more expensive. But the 9900 in general is another great c-arm in the line made by GE/OEC.

If you’re planning on doing pain management, and maybe some other general imaging, any of the above models would do just fine. So spend as much or as little as you want. The 9600 has a 525 line image, which is very good for needle placement.

For surgery, you will want to have a 9800 or a 9900. They both have a 1K x 1K image, which is what you will need.

Once you have determined the resolution you need for the procedures you want to do, and henceforth decide which model you want, you will want to consider what size image intensifier you would need. In general, a 9 inch image intensifier will be sufficient. If you are doing vascular imaging, most prefer the 12 inch image intensifier. In that case, don’t forget that you will need vascular software included as well.

Testing C-arm

For monitors, you generally want to upgrade to the newer flat screen LCD monitors. The CRT monitors that came with the original 9600 and 9800 systems had a very good image, but after a while they must be replaced. The 9900 systems already will have the high resolution flat screen LED monitors.


And for DICOM needs:
The 9600 and the earliest 9800 systems did not have DICOM, and in those cases there are after-market DICOM solutions you can purchase.

The later 9800 systems (around 2001 or so, with revision 30 software) and all the 9900 systems will have DICOM included.

So there are a lot of considerations for choosing which c-arm you may need, and more than I could list here. It’s always best to compare the specifications. Or just call someone at EDI.

The next thing you want to think about is from whom do you purchase your c-arm, and the reason why. And what is “previously owned’? What is “refurbished”? What is “remanufactured”? Does any of that matter?

Yes, it does.

Let’s talk again.