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Breakthroughs that will shape the future of the surgery market

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Global Surgical Equipment Industry


The surgical equipment industry is growing due to aging populations, advances in anesthetics, emerging economies, and technological innovation. GBI Research predicts the global surgical equipment market to surpass $7 billion by 2016, with a 6% compound annual growth rate.


Industry products are primarily made up of powered devices (such as lasers, electrosurgery products and heavier cutting tools), handheld non-powered instruments (such as scalpels, blades, clamps and scissors) and wound closure products (such as staples and sutures).


Challenges to surgical market entry and success include high start-up costs, the need for highly-specialized technical knowledge and strict product regulations, such as those set by the FDA, which risk suspensions and heavy penalties for non-compliance.


Key Market Segments


Lasers account for almost 50% of the powered surgical device sub-segment, with overall electrosurgical devices showing a yearly growth rate of 6.5%. Surgical sutures are not far behind with a 7% compound annual growth rate, and are predicted to expand to $4.5 billion by 2016. Overall, sutures could make up more than 60% of surgical equipment worth in the next 5 years.


According to Global Data, the wound closure device market is forecast to grow at a yearly rate of 5% to 2016. Growth will be fuelled by demand for hemostats and tissue sealants, which are both used to control bleeding during surgery.



Regional Market Leaders


Currently, the US represents the largest regional market for surgical equipment, with 35% market share. However, it could see a decline of 4% market share by 2016 caused in part by cuts to US Medicare and Medicaid spending and increased healthcare investments in growing markets, such as the EU, China, India and Japan. Overall, the US should hit the $2.5 billion mark in 2016, with a 5% compound annual growth rate, according to GBI Research.


In China and India, surgical equipment should see an even faster annual growth rate of 8%, driven by greater healthcare investment, quality and availability combined with growing populations and patient bases that have increasing financial means. Additional growth should come from the manufacture of hand-held surgical instruments, which are often produced in developing countries – with Pakistan accounting for 25% of global non-powered surgical instrument production.



Major Industry Players


Ethicon, a member of the Johnson & Johnson family, leads the global surgical equipment market, with over an estimated 33% of market share thanks to, in part, its surgical sutures. The company’s other leading products include: Ultracision Harmonic Scalpel, an ultrasound-guided scalpel that limits tissue damage; Proceed, Ultrapro and Prolene lightweight mesh products; and Dermabond skin adhesive for stitch-free wound closure. Its biosurgery division includes Biopatch wound dressings and absorbable hemostats used to limit bleeding.


Medical technology company Conmed Corporation specializes in surgical equipment used in minimally invasive surgery, spanning endosurgery, electrosurgery, arthroscopy (joint surgery) and endoscopy. Over 50% of the US-based company’s revenue is from international sales, which totaled almost $185 million in the first six months of 2011.


ArthroCare Corporation leads for surgical products linked to ear, nose and throat procedures, a segment that accounted for 28% of the company's sales in 2010. The market for surgical equipment used in tonsillectomies is vast, with the company estimating that 600,000 of these procedures are performed annually in the US. ArthroCare is known for its patented coblation technology and its arthroscopic surgery products, the Opus and Atlantech collections. The company has over 210 patents in the US and more than 170 global patents.


Other major market players include: Boston Scientific, Gyrus Medical, Cytyc Corporation, Medtronic, Intact Medical Corporation, Megadyne, Novasys and ERBE Elektromedizin.


Suture Material, Sterile Surgical & Dental Goods Trade



Market Outlook


The surgical equipment market will continue to grow largely thanks to increased surgical interventions needed to treat rising medical conditions such as obesity, pancreatic diseases and gall bladder diseases. Increasing demand for cosmetic surgery is also driving the need for surgical equipment, with a 5.1 million rise in cosmetic procedures registered in the US in the past 10 years.


As surgeons shift toward new technologies and more efficient procedures, it should open the door – and demand – for an even larger range of surgical equipment and related supplies.  



Leading Industry Associations




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