Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a procedure used for pain management. An electrical current is produced by a radio wave and is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, which reduces pain signals from that specific area. Radiofrequency ablation finds application in a wide range of minimally invasive procedures in pain management, oncology, gynecology, cosmetology, and hypertension. Ablation of tissue/nerves for pain management is carried out due to two different types of output of energy called pulsed RF ablation (PRF) and short duration continuous RF ablation. Continuous RF ablation technology has a higher chance of resulting in permanent damage to nerves and hence requires very precise placement of electrodes. On the other hand, short duration PRF technology uses intermittent pulsed doses and is safer than continuous radiofrequency ablation.Radiofrequency ablation for pain management is an excellent emerging option for patients suffering from chronic pain. Approximately 80% of the pain management applications of radiofrequency ablation are aimed towards chronic pain around the back and spine, followed by trigeminal neuralgia and sacroiliac joint pain.
Accelerating Demand for Minimally Invasive Procedures to Fuel Application of RFA
The global healthcare industry is undergoing dynamic changes. These changes are driven by technological advancements in diagnostics, therapeutics, and medical devices. One of the most remarkable developments in the recent times in the healthcare industry is the rapidly growing demand for minimally invasive procedures. These procedures are the result of innovative developments in the field of endoscopy, medical lasers, radiofrequency ablation devices, and robotics. According to a U.S.-based market research firm, the global minimally invasive surgery market will be worth US$50.60 billion by 2019.
The continuously evolving and strong demand for minimally invasive surgery has spurred the demand for radiofrequency ablation devices. The global radiofrequency ablation devices market for pain management was worth US$296.6 million in 2011 and will expand at a marked 19.4% CAGR during the forecast period of 2012 to 2018. The global radiofrequency ablation devices market is estimated to reach total market revenue of US$1,027.6 million by 2018.
Disposable Radiofrequency Ablation Devices to Emerge as Fastest Growing Sector
Product-wise, the global radiofrequency ablation devices market is classified into reusables, disposables, and capital equipment. These products are used in several medical fields such as cosmetology, hypertension, cardiology, pain management, gynecology, cardiac rhythm management, and surgical oncology. In 2011, disposable radiofrequency ablation devices constituted the largest product segment in the radiofrequency ablation devices market used for pain management. This segment will demonstrate the highest CAGR during the forecast period and emerge as the fastest growing product segment in the global radiofrequency ablation devices market. Capital equipment and reusable radiofrequency ablation devices will demonstrate a moderate growth as well during the forecast period.
Geographically, the global radiofrequency ablation devices market is divided into North America, EMEA, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World. North America led the global radiofrequency ablation devices as well as the minimally invasive procedures market in 2011. On the other hand, Asia Pacific will expand at the fastest CAGR of 20.6% during the forecast period.
Besides the demand for minimally invasive procedures, the global radiofrequency ablation devices market also benefits from the rising prevalence of chronic arthritis and the increasing global geriatric population. Technological advancements in the ablation devices, which will make the devices more convenient and even less risky, will further fuel this market. However, the market will be suppressed by the highly selective group of patients that are compatible for this procedure and side effects experienced by RF ablation for paint management.
Nevertheless, companies in the global radiofrequency ablation devices will tap the market opportunity in the emerging economies of Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. Some of the corporations dominating the global radiofrequency ablation devices market are Diros Technology, Inc., Cosman Medical, Inc., Stryker Corporation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, St. Jude Medical, Inc., Biosense Webster, Inc., and Accuray, Inc.
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