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Advanced surgical energy devices

Advanced energy devices improve delivery/outcomes

72% of surgeons that using the latest advanced surgical energy technologies is important during minimally invasive surgical procedures
50% said using energy devices reduced operating time

Nearly nine out of ten (88%) surgeons believe advanced surgical energy devices could revolutionise the way surgery is performed in the future resulting in cost savings for the NHS, according to the results of an industry survey. It is estimated that it can cost up to £400 per day for an average patient on an NHS surgical ward, indicating real financial benefits to reducing length of stay. It has been projected that a reduction in length of stay of between two and six days per patient could save NHS trusts £15.5million-£46.5 million a year in total.

It is clear that advanced surgical energy devices, such as the Thunderbeat (Olympus Medical) improve surgical outcomes and present an opportunity to reduce periods of hospitalisation for patients. The ‘Advanced Surgical Energy survey’ included 100 surgeons in the UK specialising in a mix of general, gynaecologic, urologic, bariatric, upper GI and hepato-biliary who regularly perform laparoscopic surgery.

The surgeons were asked to complete an online interview comprising 16 multiple choice and open-ended questions. An initial screening question was used to ensure all respondents regularly performed laparoscopic surgery. The answers revealed:

  • 55% of the surgeons specified a reduction in the number of instruments required when using energy devices
  • 50% said using energy devices reduced operating time
  • 21% of surgeons feel that patients experience better results, with less postoperative pain and faster recovery times
  • 18% said there is a reduction in the size and number of incisions required
  • 72% of surgeons that using the latest advanced surgical energy technologies is important during minimally invasive surgical procedures
  • 64% of surgeons surveyed said that these devices enable them to carry out complex procedures safely and with precision
  • 59% of surgeons indicated that operating time was reduced
  • 33% of surgeons said that advanced surgical energy devices improve the way surgical procedures are carried out providing a better overall outcome for patients

“The survey results provide further validation, that this technology should be widely available as it offers many potential benefits for both surgeons and patients,” said Gareth Walsh, Director of Medical Systems Division, Olympus Medical, who sponsored the study. “It’s evident that advanced surgical energy devices have improved the way that surgeries are carried out – of particular note is the speed, versatility and potential for fewer instruments, along with the ability to manage secondary bleeds and adverse events, reducing periods of hospitalisation for patients.”

The surgeons were also asked their thoughts on the Thunderbeat device, which is most widely used for minimal access surgery by bariatric (67%) and gynaecology (36%) surgeons. Of the surgeons that have not yet used the device, 85% said that they would consider doing so, rising to 100% for bariatric and upper GI surgeons. The findings highlight that surgeons recognise the value of new advanced surgical energy devices, but also show that they are currently not widely used.

Of those more experienced surgeons surveyed, who have been practicing for more than 20 years, 86% say that reliable haemostasis is the key benefit, while 82% of those who have been practicing for 16-20 years say that these devices enable surgeons to carry out complex procedures safely and with precision.

The survey also found that advanced surgical energy devices give surgeons more confidence: 30% of surgeons say that this is the case, and a further 25% say that these devices decrease the risk of adverse events (rises to 36% of those working in gynaecologic surgery, and 41% of experienced surgeons who have been practicing for 16-20 years).

Surgeons have different priorities when selecting which surgical energy/advanced surgical energy device to use for laparoscopic procedures and which to use for minimally invasive surgeries. In both scenarios, reliable haemostasis is the most important factor (77% for laparoscopic and 76% for minimally invasive), followed by ease of use (42% for laparoscopic and 57% for minimally invasive).

However, minimising operation time is the third most important consideration for laparoscopic surgery (40%), while acceptable thermal properties are more important when performing minimally invasive surgery (34%) with an advanced surgical energy device.

The survey was carried out by Opinion Matters, an international consumer research agency. Survey fieldwork was undertaken in the UK between 17th September 2014 and 25th September 2014.

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