The Average Life Expectancy of Elekta Linear Accelerator Parts

Over the past few years, companies that produce linear accelerators have been focusing on the service and maintenance areas as the primary source of their business plan. Not surprisingly, service contract sales have increased yearly for all linear accelerator companies. As this is beneficial to investors in this space, it doesn’t help the owners of the equipment and medical professionals that use them in their practice.

Many hospitals and clinics are looking for ways to decrease the cost of maintenance and service repairs. The cost of linear accelerator parts and servicing them can get quite pricey, and it can be quite easy to go over-budget very quickly. 

This article will break down the main components that will eventually need to be replaced or serviced in the Elekta linear accelerator and will assist those places looking to do their own maintenance. This will help lower the cost of maintenance and allow for more accurate budget forecasting. 

Below is the average lifespan of a variety of parts that will eventually need to be serviced or replaced and what you can expect of their overall lifetime value. 

Parts:

Magnetron: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 2 Years 

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): 5-6 Years

Low use system (15 patients /day): 5-6 Years

X-ray Tube: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 18 Months                       

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): 3 Years

Low use system (15 patients /day): 4+ Years

XVI Detector: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 5 years

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): 7 Years

Low use system (15 patients /day): 10+ Years

iView Detector: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 2 Years

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): 4 Years

Low use system (15 patients /day): 4 Years

Electron Gun: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 1 year

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): N/A

Low use system (15 patients /day): N/A

Thyratron Tube: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 3 Years

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): 5 years

Low use system (15 patients /day): 5+ Years

Reflectors: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 2-3 Years

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): 2-3 Years

Low use system (15 patients /day): N/A

MLC Camera: 

High use system (35+ patients /day): 2-3 Years (Old Type); Much Longer Now

Moderate use system (<30 patients/day): 2-3 Years (Old Type); Much Longer Now Low use system (15 patients /day): N/A

Depending on your Elekta linear accelerator, the magnetron has considerably different life expectancy expectations. New magnetrons usually are not equipped with a feedback system, which will need to be replaced with 3-4 years. The 18MV, however, is an older machine that has a feedback system that can last up to 10 years. 

The ion chamber of the Elekta part is sensitive to indoor climate and the region in which it is located. High humidity can shorten its lifespan by two-thirds, with a typical chamber lasting within four years and one in higher humidity levels as low as one year. 

High use on a linear accelerator can wear on the electron gun and may need to be replaced within a year, but if not used as frequently can last over six years. 

The thyratron tube is the part that produces the pulses to the electron gun and is one of the most critical components of any linear accelerator. Surprisingly the thyratron tube has a consistent lifespan regardless of usage. The baseline expectation is three years, with a possible stretch of five years if properly taken care of.

Daily patient volume significantly affects the X-ray tube’s lifespan, and lower levels of usage will allow several years of operation before needing to be replaced.

Newer models of the Elekta linear accelerator include Versa and the Infinity/Axesse. The VersaHD is still relatively new in terms of linear accelerator world, and many of its components still have yet to be determined for life expectancy. However, looking at earlier models can help gauge these expectations. 

As with all linear accelerators, usage levels will affect the lifespan of the individual components. The main factors that will affect your parts will be humidity levels, patient loads, and dose rates. 

If you need parts to your Elekta linear accelerator, visit Radparts.com. Radparts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for linear accelerators and radiation oncology equipment.

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