by Don Sadler

New developments and technological advances in the field of surgery and in OR facilities are resulting in big changes in the market for surgical boom products.

These trends include the growth of minimally invasive surgery, the rising popularity of integrated or hybrid ORs, the use of ever-larger high-resolution monitors, and advancements in robotic surgery.

“We’re seeing slow and steady growth in surgical booms from a market perspective,” says David Church, marketing manager for booms and lights for Stryker Corporation. “The biggest growth opportunities for surgical boom manufacturers are in specialty booms and booms located in hybrid ORs.”

The surgical boom market in the U.S. — comprising equipment, anesthesia, utility and custom booms — was valued at approximately $110 million in 2012, according to Millennium Research Group (MRG).

“It is growing in the high single digits, primarily due to the trend toward integration and hybrid ORs, and will reach a market value of around $175 million by 2017,” says MRG Senior Market Research Analyst Carmen Chan. “Hybrid ORs house much more equipment than standard ORs, including both advanced imaging and surgical equipment, and thus require a larger number of booms. Premium-priced customized booms are also popular in hybrid ORs because they cater to the specific needs of each facility, department or specialty.”

The purpose of a surgical boom is to provide support for all of the other devices in the operating room, while helping improve OR flow and efficiency by getting devices and their cables and wires up off the floor or off of carts, Church says.

“As such, today’s booms need to be flexible enough to meet the evolving needs of today’s OR,” he says. “For example, booms need to be able to support the 56and 60-inch monitors that are becoming increasingly common in the advanced, integrated OR.”

Growth trends in minimally invasive surgery (MIS) and OR integration are expected to continue, which should continue driving sales of surgical booms. The market for MIS equipment is forecast to grow at more than 8 percent annually to $35.5 billion by 2016, according to Research and Markets. Meanwhile, the OR integration market is forecast to grow 15 percent annually through 2015, according to MRG.

“As they become more popular, hybrid ORs also increase demand for new hybrid-compatible versions of such products as surgical tables and equipment booms, while increasing the complexity and cost of integrating devices,” a MRG report reads.

Meanwhile, the explosion of robotic surgery, with more than 350,000 procedures performed in the U.S. annually, presents a huge growth opportunity for surgical boom manufacturers.

“If there’s any type of OR that can benefit the most by integrating devices and cleaning up the clutter, it’s a robotic surgical suite,” says Church. “Getting devices and equipment off of carts and onto booms makes a big difference.”

He says Stryker has worked closely with Intuitive Surgical, the manufacturer of the da Vinci robotic surgical system, to make sure its booms can accommodate and integrate all of the equipment it requires.

“Most new and remodeled ORs are moving toward surgical booms,” says Church. “These booms will be in the ORs for 15-20 years or longer, but the devices they support may cycle out three or four times. So the booms need to be adaptable to accommodate changing devices and technology.”