Absorbable Surgical Sutures Market
Surgical sutures with a market value of US$3-3.5 Billion are broadly classified as natural and synthetic based on their origin. Although variety of polymers are used to make the synthetic absorbable surgical sutures, polyglycolic acid (co-polymers), polylactic acid (co-polymers), Caprolactone and polydioxanone are more popular than others. The natural ones are commonly prepared from collagen derived from mammals. Synthetic absorbable sutures are further segmented as monofilament or multifilament form. The report also segments absorbable sutures into demand for colored products (yellow-brown, pink-red, green-blue and violet).
In recent years the reduced wound infection due to the absorbable nature of sutures have created a demand for more and technologically advanced materials in the market. The applications of these absorbable sutures are multiple such as stitching internal organs during surgery, common wound and others.
Absorbable sutures keep their tensile strength as long as it is required over the healing process. Parallel to the increasing strength of the tissue, they are degraded by the tissue metabolism (proteolytic enzymatic degradation) until they are completely dissolved. They are ideal for internal wounds such as those made after childbirth. The added advantage of absorbable sutures is that they lose their entire or most of the tensile strength within 3 months. However, some new sutures are available in the market which can retain their tensile strength beyond 3 months. The suture strength is usually segmented as Plain catgut, Dexon and Vicryl. Catgut material of absorbable sutures are derived from sheep intestinal submucosa.
The United States Pharmacopeia defines the range of sutures from # 1-6 where #1 is the smallest. With the advancement of technology #0 was also added and later even thinner sizes were manufactured (#00 to #000000 )#6/0 which have found heavy usage in orthopedic segment. Suture industry and needle manufacturing industry work hand in hand. Atraumatic needles are produced in different shapes according to the sizes needed.
The market is dominated by manufacturers such as Ethicon Inc, Endo Evolution LLC, Boston Scientific Corporation, Johnson & Johnson Pvt Ltd, Conmed Corporation, WL Gore & Associates and 3M from USA. A few companies from Europe and Asia are competing with these American companies in the global market such as Peters Surgical (France), Smith & Nephew (UK), B Braun Melsungen AG (Germany), Serag-Wiessner GmbH (Germany), Medtronic PLC (Ireland) and Sutures India Pvt Ltd. (India).
On an average a 250-300 bedded hospital spends approx. USD 80K-1.5 Million on purchase of sutures, while a mid-sized hospital spends around 250K-320K USD annually and a small hospital or mobile clinic would go for $50K-60K USD/annum expenditure. It’s a big opportunity with lot of white spaces for new players.
The biggest hurdle or worry in the market is that surgeons feel that the performance of sutures could vary across brands, with one type being superior over others, e.g. Medtronic’s Polysorb, a braided midterm absorbable suture was found to be stronger than it’s #2- 3 competitor in the US market. Similarly Ethicon’s Chromic Gut, an absorbable collagen suture was considered best in its category by surgeons. The report by Stratview Research also looks into the perception of Surgeon while recommending the purchase of sutures for their hospitals.
Will the above information save money for the healthcare providers? Yes, cost of sutures, quality of sutures and several other factors should be considered while selecting a brand while factoring surgical complications and wound healing.
It’s important to understand the perception of the users who believe that non-absorbable sutures are stronger than absorbable ones however, to close a deep wound or an internal organ they would prefer stitching several layers of tissue with dissolvable one.
The time that a suture takes to dissolve varies and is also dependent on the material of the suture. Doctors factor the location, need and type of wound before selecting the sutures. Absorbable suture market is strong in Obs and Gynae where a majority of the surgeons prefer dissolvable sutures after cesarian section. The report segments the market into application areas such as Orthopedic, Obs&Gynae, Ophthalmology, General Surgery, Diabetes Wound, Others.
The comprehensive report from Stratview Research is targeted towards manufacturers of Absorbable Surgical Sutures only and gives a closer look at demand, gaps and competition in the top 10 market across the world i.e. USA, Germany, France, Italy, UK, Japan, Australia, S Korea, India and China.