Ultrasound Probe Repair
Ultrasound Transducer Repair and Service from Providian Medical Field Service
Providian Medical Field Service offers probe repair and refurbishment for a variety of ultrasound probes, including convex, phased array, linear, and TEE for a wide variety of manufacturers.
In many cases, repairs on damaged or broken probes can be made for a fraction of the cost of a replacement new or used ultrasound transducer.
In addition, we also offer a probe rental program, which will allow you to continue your work virtually uninterrupted while we evaluate and/or repair your probe.
While some repairs are relatively easy and cost-effective, our expert technicians will evaluate your transducer for repair and make recommendations on whether to repair, replace, or keep your transducer. Different pricing options are available for some repairs, and sometimes you’ll find there’s a relatively simple fix that can extend the life of your ultrasound probe and you can put off the potentially expensive fix.
We offer repair and replacement for nearly every ultrasound manufacturer, including GE, Siemens, ATL, Acuson, Philips, SonoScape, Chison, SIUI, SonoSite, HP, Biosound Esaote, and many others.
Our most common problems and repairs include:
Among the more common issues is a crack or separation in the strain relief. This problem occurs most often where the probe attaches to the cable, but also can occur at the transducer connector.
This problem is easy to spot, as shown in the picture on the right. This is one of the most important problems to address quickly because eventually it will affect your image. Ultimately you will damage the wires inside the cable and it will result in image dropout or complete loss of the ultrasound image.
Dropout is seen by black lines throughout your image. This “Dropout” is where one of the piezoelectric crystals is no longer sending or receiving signals, and there are many reasons why this may occur. Sometimes dropout is from a single element and you’ll see a very thin black line through your ultrasound image. Other times dropout happens in a large block of the image. This can occur anywhere along the array.
When the dropout is in the center of the transducer, it often affects your diagnosis. Whereas many choose not to repair or replace transducers that have dropout on the edge of the image.
There are two types of typical dropout, referred to as “weak” or “dead” elements. “Weak” elements show a light dropout through the image and may not impact your diagnosis nor overall image quality. “Dead” elements are represented by a strong dark line.
Often a large block of dead elements can indicate physical damage. The first check is to visually inspect the condition of the transducer to see if it has been dropped or damaged. Most ultrasound technicians won’t tell you if it was dropped, but large blocks of dropout on the left- or right-side of the transducer often are the result of physical damage.
Worn, Cracked, or Holes in Membrane
The membrane of a transducer can wear down for a number of reasons, the most common is extended use. For some manufacturers, this is a relatively simple fix. One single event typically does not cause holes or extreme wear, although we’re finding it to be somewhat common when needles are involved with the use of the probe. This repair often does not require replacement, but it’s common to see weak or dead elements with this problem, which is simply a result of extended use.
Broken Locking Mechanism
Problems with the ultrasound connector are most common with portable ultrasounds. Some manufacturers have somewhat poor construction, specifically the “clamshell” laptop-style connectors. When good care is taken to connect and reconnect the transducers, most do not have this issue. But it happens, and usually we can fix it without requiring an expensive replacement.
3D/4D Probe Leakage or Motor Repair
Leakage often occurs with 3D/4D probes that have a soft shell, most commonly seen on the popular Voluson ultrasound machines. We can’t seem to find a typical situation that causes probe leakage. This can be diagnosed by turning the gain all the way up, hold the probe head facing down for 30 seconds, then turn it upright and look at the image on the ultrasound machine. The image will almost appear to show waves as the image begins to turn black as gravity takes effect on the oil inside the probe casing. This can often be fixed.
Mechanical problems occur in these transducers because they are required sweep back-and-forth in order to acquire slices for the volume image. Over time, the transducer mechanisms can fail after extended use. Before calling for repair, it can sometimes be resolved by reconnecting the transducer. These mechanical malfunctions may also be caused by a broken motor board within the ultrasound system.
Repair or Replace?
Sometimes repair is cost-prohibitive and it’s best to buy a new or refurbished transducer as a replacement. In fact, it’s usually a good idea to compare the cost of a replacement to the cost and time involved in fixing a broken transducer. Often you can find a great deal on a used ultrasound transducer from Providian to solve your issues.
While your probe is being diagnosed, you can also rent a probe through our Ultrasound Probe Rental Program. It will allow you to continue your work while your probe is evaluated or while your budget is approved. Probe rentals pay for themselves because you won’t have to reschedule patients or refer them to another facility.
The only way to really know if there is a problem is to have an expert diagnosis of your transducer problem. Call us today at 877-661-8224 and talk to one of our experts about your probe repair needs.