The Market for Minimally Invasive Medical Devices

Published - Mar 2009| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - HLC051E
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for MIS devices and instruments was worth $14.8 billion in 2008. This should reach $15.8 billion in 2009 and $23.0 billion in 2014, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8%.
  • The U.S. has the largest share of the market, worth $8.9 billion in 2008 and an estimated $9.5 billion in 2009. This segment is expected to reach $13.6 billion in 2014.
  • Cardiothoracic surgery was the largest application segment for MIS devices and equipment in 2007, representing 70% of the total market. Cardiothoracic surgery was followed in order of size by orthopedic surgery (12%), gastrointestinal surgery (10%) and gynecology (3%).



Minimally invasive surgery is performed without making a major incision or opening, resulting in less trauma for the patient and yielding significant cost savings. These result from shorter hospitalization times and reduced therapy requirements. Other benefits of minimally invasive surgery are less pain, less need for postsurgical pain medication, less scarring, and less likelihood of complications related to the incision. 

Thus, minimally invasive surgery is defined either as based on the operative procedure (e.g., small incisions) or the outcome (reduced surgical complications or costs). However, minimally invasive is not the same as minor surgery. Some “minimally invasive” procedures, (e.g., coronary artery bypass surgery), still are major operations requiring a hospital stay.

In minimally invasive surgery, a miniature camera is introduced into the body through a small incision. It transmits images to a video monitor, enabling the physician to diagnose and, if necessary, treat a variety of conditions. To do this, the physician inserts surgical instruments and auxiliary devices, such as irrigation and drainage devices, through one or more small incisions.

Minimally invasive surgery shares some important characteristics, but should not be confused with either ambulatory (“walk-in”) or noninvasive surgery.


Some types of minimally invasive surgery can be performed in an ambulatory (nonhospital) setting, but minimally invasive surgery is not necessarily identical with ambulatory surgery. Attempts to delineate minimally invasive from ambulatory surgery on the basis of incision size or use of an endoscope or other device to look inside the patient’s body run into too many exceptions to be very useful.

Perhaps the best way to distinguish minimally invasive surgery from other types of ambulatory surgery is to define it as surgery that, if performed using conventional open-incision techniques, requires hospital admission. This definition excludes such minor surgical procedures as vasectomies. These almost never are performed separately in a hospital setting.


In a sense, the ultimate in minimally invasive surgery does not require any incision or physical entry into the patient’s body. Examples include the use of ultrasound to break up gallstones and radiation to shrink or kill tumors. For purposes of this report, only those surgical procedures that involve physical access to the body through an incision or a natural orifice are considered minimally invasive surgery.


A growing number of surgical procedures are carried out using minimally invasive techniques. This has created a multibillion-dollar market for the specialized devices and instruments used for these procedures. They include monitors and imaging equipment, electrosurgical devices, handheld instruments, auxiliary devices and accessories. 

Because the use of these products is increasing so rapidly, there is a pressing need to develop an up-to-date base of market information to better understand the dynamics of the market for minimally invasive surgical devices and instruments. Nearly 3 years have passed since BCC Research published the previous edition of this study, Trends in the Noninvasive and Minimally Invasive Medical Device Market (HLC051D). It analyzed key growth areas, and developed quantitative market projections.

Since then, the market has continued to evolve. The population of the established markets is aging, bringing new surgical needs, while new markets are opening up. Technological advances have expanded the range of surgical procedures that can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, while giving physicians new tools for the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and pathologies. 

Meanwhile, the structure of the health care industry is changing, as traditional hospitals consolidate and other health care options become available to consumers. This study attempts to give management readers the information and analysis they need to deal with these challenges.


This study meets these needs by analyzing global markets for minimally invasive surgical devices and instruments (see Scope and Format for a definition of these devices) in light of the most recent available information. In addition to looking at current and future markets, the study will analyze technological, demographic, and economic developments that may have a long-term impact on the size and structure of the market for minimally invasive devices and instruments.

This report also provides an analysis of the market for minimally invasive devices and instruments by type of surgical procedure, device, end user, and region. The future of minimally invasive surgical equipment also will be discussed, with forecasts for consumption of specific products. 

More specific objectives are to:

  • Identify and segment the main types of minimally invasive devices and instruments that have been commercialized to date
  • Analyze the historical and current volume and value of shipments of each of these product segments in specified end user and geographic markets
  • Identify and evaluate the impact of demographic, economic, and other factors that will drive future demand for minimally invasive devices
  • Forecast the volume and value of shipments of the product segments by the probabilities that future demand will be higher or lower than the baseline forecast
  • Identify promising new surgical procedures and products still in the development and testing stage, and assess the probability they will be commercialized successfully in the next 5 years
  • Forecast the potential market for these developmental procedures and products, taking into account the estimated probability they will be commercialized
  • Identify leading device manufacturers and analyze the structure of the minimally invasive surgical devices industry (e.g., market shares, concentration, and recent m&a activity)
  • Assess the long-term outlook for minimally invasive surgical devices, taking into account market opportunities, as well as technological, financial and economic factors.


The report has been written for the minimally invasive surgical interest community, but is especially tailored for readers with an interest in the marketing and management dimensions of minimally invasive surgical devices and instruments. This especially includes readers in:

  • The medical and surgical devices industry
  • Medical research institutions
  • The investment community
  • The financial and analyst community
This report is an analytical business tool whose primary purpose is to describe the minimally invasive surgical devices industry and the U.S. market for these devices. The scope of the study does not include:
  • Devices and instruments used exclusively for traditional open surgical procedures (e.g., heart-lung machines)
  • Devices and equipment used exclusively in an ambulatory surgery setting
  • Equipment for nonsurgical types of therapy such as radiation therapy.

The format of the study is organized around the following topics: 

  • Major types and applications of minimally invasive surgical devices and instruments.
  • Industry structure.
  • Market size and segmentation, including historical data on sales by application, product type, end-user group and geographical market.
  • Market drivers.
  • Detailed market projections through 2014.
  • Competition and market shares.
  • Observations and conclusions regarding the future of minimally invasive surgical devices and instruments. 
The findings and conclusions of this report are based on information gathered from manufacturers and users of minimally invasive surgical devices, as well as other informed sources. Interview data were combined with information gathered from an extensive review of secondary sources, such as trade publications, trade associations, company literature and online databases, to produce the market estimates contained in this report. 
The base year for analysis and projection is 2008. At the time this report was prepared (early 2009), year-end data for 2008 were not yet universally available. Where necessary, market estimates for 2008 were developed using interim (partial) data for 2008, combined with historical data for 2007.
With 2008 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2009 to 2014. These projections are based on a consensus of primary contacts combined with BCC Research’s understanding of the key market drivers and their impact from a historical and analytical perspective. The analytical methodologies used to generate the market estimates are described in detail in the section on Detailed Market Projections.
All dollar projections presented in this report are in 2008 constant dollars. 
Andrew McWilliams is the author of this report. He is a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm, 43rd Parallel LLC. Mr. McWilliams also is the author of several other BCC Research studies of the surgical and related health care markets. They include:
  • HLC038C     Patient Monitoring
  • HLC058A    Global Medical Markets for Nanoscale Materials and  
  • HLC054A     The Home Medical Equipment Market
  • HLC016C     Microelectronic Medical Implants: Products, Technologies 
                       and Opportunities
  • HLC045A     Prosthetics, Orthotics and Cosmetic Enhancement Products
  • HLC042A     Radiation-Based Therapy and Therapeutic Imaging
  • HLC036B     Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery Market
  • BIO022D     Organ and Tissue Transplantation and Alternatives
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The information developed in this report, is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice, nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is of a speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or from its use.

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Published - Jun-2006| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - HLC051D

Report Highlights

  • The global market for minimally invasive surgery (MIS) devices and instruments was worth an estimated $12 billion in 2005, and is expected to reach $12.9 billion in 2006 and $18.5 billion by 2011, an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 7.5% between 2006 and 2011. (These figures include catheters, balloons, stents and other devices used in minimally invasive angioplasty.)
  • The U.S. accounted for about 60% of the world market, or $7.2 billion in 2005, and is growing at an AAGR of 7.2%. The U.S. market should reach $7.7 billion in 2006 and $11.0 billion by 2011.
  • Surgical devices (e.g, stents, catheters, guidewires) are the largest product segment of the U.S. minimally invasive surgery market, of which they accounted for about a 69% share in 2005. Monitoring and visualization systems were the second largest segment of the U.S. market in 2005, with an 11% market share, followed by endosurgical instruments (10%), electrosurgical equipment (8%), and robotics (2%). Surgical robots are the fastest-growing equipment /device segment, with an AAGR of 12% between 2006 and 2011, followed by surgical devices, with an AAGR of 8%.
Published - May-2003| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - HLC051C

Report Highlights

  • Globally, the MIS devices market saw an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 10% from 1999 to 2002.
  • By 2007, the market should rise to approximately $8.3 billion at an AAGR of 6.6%.
  • The U.S. market represents nearly 60% of the total world market.
  • Market drivers include demographics, epidemiology, new devices.
  • The lack of surgeons opting to train in MIS is a potential constraint on the market.


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