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According to a new series of reports on the U.S. market for laparoscopic devices by iData Research, there has been a massive decline in growth rate of the gastric band market since 2008, as most surgeons switched to gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy procedures. Many surgeons felt that the fitting of a gastric band was not only more dangerous than a sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass procedure, but also not as profitable as the other options. Unlike a sleeve gastrectomy procedure, which does not require any follow up, the fitting of a gastric band requires the surgeon to check up on the patient up to 3 times a year over a 2-year period in order to monitor patient progress. Although this arrangement is beneficial for the patient, surgeons find that these follow-ups are not cost-effective.

While the rate of individuals considered to be severely obese (those having a body mass index (BMI) of over 40 or higher) is still increasing in the U.S., the way in which severe obesity is treated surgically has changed significantly. Recently, the sleeve gastrectomy procedure has become the new gold standard of obesity intervention surgery. This procedure has experienced extremely high growth in recent years at the expense of both gastric bypass surgery and gastric banding. The overwhelming preference for the sleeve gastrectomy procedure has had a dramatically negative effect on sales of gastric bands. However, sleeve gastrectomies require an average of five incisions. Gastric bands still offer a significant patient advantage because they can be inserted using a single incision, which results in less scaring, patient pain and faster recovery times.

“Sleeve gastrectomies have severely eroded this market,” explains Jeffrey Wong, Strategic Analyst Manager at iData Research. “Sleeve gastrectomies is one of the fastest growing bariatric procedures, occupying over 50% of the U.S. market.”

Allergan, the previous owner of the leading gastric band, LAP-BAND®, sold the product to Apollo Endosurgery due to steep declines in unit sales, which further reflects the state of this market. Demand for gastric bands will continue to decrease in the coming years as the sleeve gastrectomy procedure continues to be favored as the primary surgical method of obesity intervention.

Intragastric balloons are a newer choice of bariatric surgery, offering temporary removable devices that are inserted endoscopically through the mouth and can remain up to 6 months. The greatest barrier to growth in the gastric balloon market is lack of awareness and cost to the patient. Competition is actively increasing in this space, which is increasing marketing efforts collectively from manufacturers resulting in increasing overall patient volumes. The challenge is that gastric balloon procedures are still not covered by insurance in the United States creating a barrier to patient choice.

For Further Information
More on the laparoscopic device market in the U.S. can be found in a series of reports published by iData Research entitled the U.S Market Report Suite for Laparoscopic Devices. The full report suite includes market research data on laparoscopes, access devices, hand instruments, insufflation devices, suction-irrigation devices, direct energy devices, ultrasonic energy devices, hand-assisted devices, closure devices, gastric bands, powered morcellators, and female sterilization devices.

The iData report series on laparoscopic devices covers the U.S. and 15 countries in Europe including Germany, France, the United Kingdom (U.K.), Italy, Spain, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg), Scandinavia (Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway), Portugal, Austria and Switzerland. Reports provide a comprehensive analysis including units sold, market value, forecasts, as well as detailed competitive market shares and analysis of major players’ success strategies in each market and segment. To find out more about laparoscopic device market data, register online or email us at [email protected] for a U.S Market Report Suite for Laparoscopic Devices brochure and synopsis.