With the onset of high technological advancement, almost every industry is adopting advanced systems to improve the quality of products and services they offer. Similarly, the healthcare industry has reaped the most benefits with the revolutionary research and highly advanced equipment enabled by the technology.
Technological advancement has made healthcare facilities more feasible and effective. One of the major examples of the recent development is the minimally invasive surgical system (MISS). It is a surgical procedure that requires a lesser number of cuts and incisions as compared to the traditional open-cut surgical procedure. This procedure is considered to be much safer, with quick recovery possibilities for the patients.
With the increasing number of chronic diseases and the rise in the demand for surgery among the population, the global minimally invasive surgical systems market is at the current valuation of $30.17 billion.
According to the BIS research report, it was estimated to be valued at $27.88 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to reach $55.71 billion by the end of 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.3% during 2021-2031.
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Cameras and vision: Since the purpose of minimally invasive surgery is to operate with minimal incision, the visibility of the operating space becomes extremely restricted. To perform a successful surgery, the area to be operated upon must be visible in a proper light with high-resolution images. In the MIS procedure, illumination is mostly provided by using a bundle of optical fibers illuminated by a xenon lamp.
Until the advent of charged-coupled devices (CCD), coherent fiber optic bundles were also used to transmit images back to the viewer. In most modern setups, high-resolution CCD cameras are used instead to transmit a live video stream to a flat screen via an analog-to-digital converter and processing unit.
• Surgical tools: For the MIS procedure, the challenge lies in designing instruments that are compact enough to fit in endoscopes and that can operate in a confined space. The size of the tools needs to be minimized without compromising their function.
A few surgical tools have been converted into minimally invasive equivalents, leading to products such as Endo Stitch for sutures, Endo Catch pouches (Medtronic) for waste retrieval, Endo Graspers, and needle drivers.
• Robotics: In robot-assisted surgery procedures, the instruments are not moved directly by the surgeon but through ad hoc controllers and software. The advanced systems are used by the surgeons, which improve articulation, implement filtering of tremors, the surgeon’s eye-hand coordination, hence enhancing surgical performance.
One of the most successful examples of surgical robotic systems is the da Vinci SP, which was the first console for teleoperated surgery to receive the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
• Haptics: Including the sensations such as force, pressure, texture, and temperature can be difficult to examine and represent in MIS procedures. Hence the inclusion of haptics is crucial for the advancement of the system.
Haptics helps the surgeon to judge the right amount of force to apply and make decisions based on tactile palpation. The addition of force and tactile feedback has been shown to improve learning, decrease the risk of tissue damage and shorten surgery time.
• Imaging: Another major technology that has immensely contributed to MIS is imaging. Since the inception of X-Rays, the potential of imaging for medical purposes has been understood. Further advancements in imaging techniques led to the invention of MRI, CT, and many other technologies, enabling surgeons to see inside the human body in ever greater detail and higher resolution.
Minimally invasive interventions have benefitted from high-resolution imaging technologies since the target is always hidden from the surgeon’s naked eye. It enables the accurate planning of the operation, offers training to the surgeons in the form of virtual reality simulations, obtains intraoperative real-time guidance, receives valuable diagnostic information from processed image data, and performs diagnoses non-invasively.
The minimally invasive surgical technology has immensely impacted people’s approach to healthcare. It has reduced the risk of infections usually associated with open surgeries while ensuring a quick recovery.
Minimally invasive surgery can be performed for various medical conditions like adrenalectomy, brain surgery, colectomy, gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy), heart surgery, hiatal hernia, kidney transplant, nephrectomy (kidney removal), spine surgery, and splenectomy.
Despite all the advantages, the MIS market also has certain challenges restricting the growth of the market. It includes the high cost of surgical robotics systems, shortage of skilled professionals, and restrictive reimbursement landscape.
The key market players are investing heavily in the market as the technology is only improving and being adopted in the system. According to the BIS research market report, North America dominatedthe market in 2020 and is anticipated to maintain its dominance in the coming decades. The growth in the market is majorly driven by huge investments, increasing R&D, and many companies based in the U.S.