The operating table is an essential part of any successful surgical procedure. Today, various types of surgical table are available for basic operating requirements as well as specialized procedures. The most important function of the surgical table is to keep the patient in the best position possible for the particular surgical procedure and to allow the surgeon to make any necessary adjustment during the procedure without interfering with the operation.
The surgical table market can be subdivided into general surgery and specialty surgery tables. General surgery tables include acute care, ambulatory care and bariatric tables, while specialty surgery tables include orthopedic, ortho/spine and image-guided surgery tables.
The largest segment in the total surgical table market is general surgery tables. On average, specialty surgery tables cost around three times as much as general surgery tables. The most expensive specialty surgery tables are orthopedic and spine tables, which can cost in excess of $120,000. Surgical tables can be further categorized according to location in the OR, such as stationary or mobile; drive type; panel characteristics, such as X-ray transparent or opaque and properties of bed material.
Other variables include table height, panel slope and section slope adjustment by Trendelenburg or by anti-Trendelenburg for many operating table models.
Demand for a number of surgical procedures has increased enormously over recent years, resulting in a corresponding growth in the market for operating room tables. The global market in surgical tables is projected to reach $762.6 million by the year 2015. The market in general surgery tables is forecast to remain relatively stable over the period to 2016; however this will be balanced by an increasing demand for specialty surgery tables, according to Global Industry Analysts (GIA).
Increasingly complex surgical procedures have demanded more specialized and efficient operating tables. For example, sophisticated imaging methods and non-invasive procedures that are increasingly in demand tend to require that patients are positioned in a precise, and sometimes unconventional, position. This has driven the development of more technologically advanced surgical tables.
The U.S. dominates the global market in operating tables, with the Asia-Pacific region representing the fastest growing market in this area. By 2016, the combined U.S. market for surgical tables is expected to reach over $197 million, GIA reports.
A select number of manufacturers are established in the market for operating rooms across the different global regions. These include Berchtold, Skytron and STERIS in the U.S. These companies lead innovation in surgical tables. Berchtold has recently launched a multifunction spine system attachment for OPERON surgical tables, which provides additional versatility by offering prone, lateral and supine positioning. It also provides improved eye and airway visibility, plus unrestricted C-arm access. STERIS has launched a range of three improved general operating tables that slide, rotate and transport patients with a single caregiver throughout the perioperative area. Trumpf has released a modular-design operating table with up to three motorized joint pairs which make it possible to use remote controls to position the patient quickly, safety and precisely.
These are just three examples of recent innovations that are continuing to challenge the operating room market and are driving demand among hospitals to upgrade their existing tables.