CT: Why buy new?

Many practices are often tempted into buying used CT scanners. As always, we are here to support our customers to help them get the right imaging equipment for their needs and it is for this reason that we advise against buying second hand CT scanners.

Although purchasing a new CT scanner can incur a large cost, we see this as a long-term investment that in turn can help you build revenue for your practice. 

Check out our article below which details why we advise against buying used CT scanners.

The life of a second-hand CT scanner before it gets to you…

The Scanner

Most new CT scanners will be sold for a period of 5 years. At the end of this period the manufacturer will stop selling the scanner and move on to a new model using the latest technology. They will then issue an end of life notice for the now “old” model which guarantees the provision of spare parts for a minimum of a further seven years.

After the end of life period passes, the CT scanner may still be operable but will be difficult to service and it may be the case that spare parts are no longer available to purchase. In this case you would have to rely on parts manufactured by a different company or second-hand spares.

Most second-hand scanners come from health services, who routinely change their CT scanners at 7-10 years old. This is now usually closer to 10 years now as budgets are getting tighter and 12 years is not unheard of.

The PC

The PC that drives a CT scanner (not for image review) is often based on Microsoft Windows and we often find that health services often have to take scanners off their network with old unsupported versions of Windows due to security risks. These PC’s are critical to the use of the CT scanner and when they fail replacing them can be very difficult.

Therefore, in purchasing an ex-hospital CT scanner, you are investing in technology that is already obsolete, that the health service believe is beyond economic use or a security risk, with new spares either not available or very soon unavailable.


And how much is that going to cost you?

It could well be the case that you need to buy another scanner in a couple of years, which in turn comes with added drawbacks: 

  • Disposal costs of the old scanner – it will have no value and so removal and disposal costs could be approximately £7,500 + VAT and take at least a week.
  • Re-fit of the CT room to accommodate the new system. New electrics and flooring might be £5-10k as well as another 2 -3 weeks downtime.
  • Fit and test the new scanner – another week or more of downtime.

If you purchase a used CT scanner it is likely to have been used extensively to run CT 24/7 for routine scans as well as trauma cases from A&E. It will be getting expensive to maintain and unreliable due to the large number of moving parts and complex high voltage components.

The total cost to you to upgrade an aging scanner therefore might be around £15k, excluding the cost of the replacement scanner! Worse still, if your system does fail, you will have to do without a scanner until a new one is purchased. You would then have the added cost of purchasing another CT scanner, for which the lead time could be months.

The latest technology, reliable support and up to 10 years’ operating life…buy new with IMV.

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We understand that the prospect of buying a new CT Scanner can seem like a huge sum of money for a veterinary practice, however as a long-term investment, buying new provides both short and long-term benefits for your practice.

A new state of the art CT scanner will provide the following;

  • Much higher resolution due to using the latest detector technology.
  • MTF is the industry standard of measuring resolution, the latest scanners can measure 18 line pairs per cm, equivalent to a spatial resolution of 0.27mm
  • Lower electrical running costs
  • Smaller size
  • Faster processing of 3D images using the latest PC’s, would you buy a 10-year-old PC?
  • Faster scan times, lungs can now often be scan sedated rather than under GA.
  • Multiple scan reconstructions form a single scan
  • Guaranteed parts and support for many years
  • Faster boot up time


CT scanner

Clinical benefit

The latest CT scanners provide higher resolution images enabling you to make a more accurate diagnosis.

In addition to this the radiation dose given to the animal is lower due to using the latest detector panel technology as well as iterative reconstruction techniques (e.g. ASiR). Not only is this safer for the patient but also means less electrical power is used and less stress on the x-ray tube.

Modern CT scanners also have the benefit of producing multiple reconstructions from raw scan data. For example, a single scan is carried out to automatically produce separate image sets of the chest and abdomen. This saves time but also because the reconstruction is carried out from the raw data it’s of higher quality than producing it retrospectively on a 3rd party PACS system.

A new system will provide high image quality and resolution and should give 10 years’ operating life. New scanners are compact, with the latest technology and lower electrical running costs. Moreover, when you buy from IMV, you are safe in the knowledge that you have a dedicated support team behind you for the lifetime of your CT scanner.

Why would you invest more money in unreliable and old technology that will cost you more money when it needs replaced every 5 years?

Don’t take the risk! Buy new… buy with IMV!

Contact our 3D Imaging Sales Manager Nigel Perry for more information on CT: 


+44 (0)7876 202 016

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