The market for surgical equipment has been broadly segmented into surgical sutures and staples, surgical handheld instruments and electrosurgical devices. In 2012, this segment accounted for 55.6% of the total surgical equipment market. Of these, surgical sutures held the larger share than staples in 2012. The two major types of sutures are absorbable and non-absorbable sutures depending on the body’s ability to degrade and absorb the suture materials over time. Absorbable sutures are in greater demand over non-absorbable sutures owing to their increasing adoption across most surgical procedures except those which require permanent sutures or long-term care.
The surgical handheld instruments market includes scalpels, forceps, retractors and scissors. Electrosurgical devices include radiofrequency generators, instruments and other accessories, which are used during various surgical procedures to cut, cauterize, coagulate and ligate tissues and luminal structures by utilizing high frequency electric current. This segment has been anticipated as the fastest growing segment during the forecast period 2013 to 2019.
Owing to advantages such as precise incision, minimal blood loss, reduced post-surgery complications and side effects, faster recovery span and shorter duration of hospital stay; minimally invasive procedures are experiencing greater demand across all medical specialties. Burgeoning demand for minimally invasive procedures is likely to trigger market growth for electrosurgical devices. Some other factors expected to drive market growth include continuous increase in the number of surgical procedures, rapidly increasing elderly population and technological advances in the area of product development.
The market for surgical sutures and staples faces significant threat from advanced wound closure materials such as glues, fibrin, high-strength medical adhesives and other sealants, as these products are actively adopted by surgeons and healthcare providers owing to associated benefits such as less healing time, reduced blood loss and improved clinical outcomes. One of the clauses of the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that reveals an excise tax of 2.3% on medical devices may serve the overall market as a restraint as it will impose an extra burden on medical device manufacturers.
Geographically, the market for surgical equipment has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). Asia-Pacific and RoW markets are expected to show high growth rate during the forecast period 2013 to 2019 owing to factors such as emerging economies, high unmet surgical needs and continuously improving reimbursement scenario.
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In the Asia-Pacific region, multinational players operating in this market are expected to face intense competition from local manufacturers as they offer various types of surgical equipment especially sutures and surgical handheld instruments, at very low prices. Rapidly evolving medical tourism industry in countries such as India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea also propels major healthcare providers to equip themselves with latest surgical devices; acts as a significant growth driver for the surgical equipment market.
Each segment of the surgical equipment market is dominated by a select number of players. For instance the market for surgical sutures and staples market is dominated by mainly Ethicon, Inc., B. Braun Melsungen AG and Covidien plc. These players have stronghold on group purchasing organizations (GPOs) in the U.S. market where healthcare providers collectively purchase surgical instruments at low prices. The market for surgical handheld instruments is largely fragmented and is distributed between multinationals and local manufacturers.
Globally, B. Braun Melsungen AG, Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation, Covidien plc and Aspen Surgical Products, Inc. are the major players operating in the surgical handheld instruments market. The electrosurgical devices market is dominated by players such as Covidien plc, ERBE Elektromedizin GmbH and CONMED Corporation with a combined market share of around 60% in 2012.