Minimally invasive surgeries have rapidly become the gold standard of surgical interventions due to their lower risks and shorter recovery times; patients in particular have a strong preference for the benefits offered. Transcatheter procedures are a type of minimally invasive approach that allows access to intervention sites by guiding a catheter through existing anatomy as much as possible. Cardiovascular transcatheter techniques, for example, frequently access the heart by using the femoral veins and require only a small incision near the groin to do so.
It has taken the development of some ingenious medical devices in order to make transcatheter procedures viable. Imaging using X-rays, ultrasound, and fluoroscopy allows surgeons to observe and enact the procedure. Specialised catheters are able to deliver surgical devices to cut, manipulate, ablate, and even replace valves. With the success of transcatheter techniques and an expanding scope of procedures, a strong market has developed for more specialised accessories.
Medical manufacturers work together with cardiovascular surgeons to devise products to improve transcatheter procedures. In order to gain access to the aortic valve in a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure, for example, up to seven different guidewires and catheters are required to navigate the femoral artery with each necessitating an exchange. These exchanges take time and increase the equipment cost to complete the procedure. There is a strong incentive to develop any products that can reduce these exchanges in order to use surgeon and OR time efficiently, control costs, and gain market share. These accessories have a low barrier to manufacture when compared to treatment catheters, sometimes only requiring a novel curve or angle to be the right tool for the job. This allows for third-party manufacturers like Teleflex to occupy this niche while offering no treatment devices at all.
Most attention in the transcatheter procedures market will continue to be focused on the latest technologies and the opening of new markets. It is important to recognise that in the wake of that progress comes a burgeoning selection of medical devices and refinements that can be capitalised on.