New survey highlights the value that advanced surgical energy devices bring to healthcare in the UK

Using devices such as THUNDERBEAT results in shorter surgeries, increased productivity, and reduced costs

The THUNDERBEAT Open Extended Jaw

A new survey launched by Olympus Medical shows that nine out of 10 - 88% - of surgeons believe advanced surgical energy devices such as THUNDERBEAT could revolutionise the way surgery is performed in the future, resulting in significant cost savings for the NHS.

Further to the Department of Health's settlement in the Government's 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review, the NHS currently faces the toughest financial challenges in its history.

But devices such as THUNDERBEAT can represent great value to the healthcare system by providing efficiencies in general surgery. This was realised in a recent survey where 55% of the surgeons surveyed specified a reduction in the number of instruments required and 50% said it reduced operating time.

The survey also indicated that surgeons feel that patients experience better results and faster recovery times (21%) when these devices are used. A reduction in the size and number of incisions required (18%), and less patient post-operative pain (14%) are further benefits identified from the surgeons surveyed.

It’s evident that advanced surgical energy devices have improved the way that surgeries are carried out

“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 the medical systems division at Olympus Medical.

“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.”

Extensive studies have already found THUNDERBEAT to be a safe alternative for cutting, coagulation and tissue dissection during surgery. It can be used in general, urologic, bariatric, gynaecologic, thoracic, and reconstructive surgeries and is suitable for laparoscopic and open procedures. As well as decreasing time and increasing versatility during surgical procedures, studies have shown trends for faster procedure time, less blood loss and reduced postoperative pain.

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 £15.5m-£46.5m a year in total.

At present, THUNDERBEAT is most widely used for minimal access surgery by bariatric (67%) and gynaecology (36%) surgeons. Of the surgeons that haven’t yet used the device, 85% said that they would consider doing so, rising to 100% for bariatric and upper GI specialists. The findings highlight that surgeons recognise the value of new advanced surgical energy devices, but also show that they are currently not widely used.

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