The C-arm is an important piece of equipment used in cleft centres around the world. The Sommerlad Cleft Centre in Kurdistan is working hard to treat patients in difficult circumstances. The centre is in Sulaimania, one of the two big cities in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq, an area plagued by wars for forty years. This has made it very difficult for the dedicated surgeons there to develop services for conditions such as cleft lip and palate. This x-ray machine plays a key role in the assessment and treatment of cleft patients which is why CLEFT is raising money to buy one.

This was part of a major donation in memory of the donor's brother. A new cleft operating theatre will be named after him when Brian Sommerlad, CLEFT Chair and plastic surgeon, goes to Sulaimania in November. It is hoped that the donor may also be able to be there.

What is a C-Arm?

C-arm is an imaging scanner intensifier. The name derives from the C-shaped arm used to connect the x-ray source and x-ray detector to one another. C-arms have radiographic capabilities, though they are used primarily for fluoroscopic intraoperative imaging during surgical, orthopaedic and emergency care procedures. The C-Arm is a relatively inexpensive X-ray machine delivering minimal radiation to record the function of the palate where it is not functioning properly, either after cleft palate repair or in some people who have not had a cleft. This helps the speech and language therapists and surgeons to make decisions on treatment.