Oct 17, 2019

Worldwide Surgical Procedure Volumes Growing through 2023 with Accelerated Growth in Key Segments

procedure table

Substantial increases in surgical procedure volumes are being projected across most medical segments as a result of a number of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Improved access to healthcare services in developing parts of the world
  • A growing elderly demographic requiring high-level care to manage chronic conditions
  • Increases in risk factors due to urbanization and/or Westernization of lifestyles

Global Procedure Volume Estimates in 2019
(source: Life Science Intelligence)

In 2019, obstetric and gynecological surgical procedures are estimated to account for the largest share of total surgical procedures. Estimated procedures volumes are elevated by the inclusion of pregnancy-related surgical procedures (e.g. cesarean sections) which accounted for over 50% of the total obstetric and gynecological surgical procedures in 2019.

Urological surgical procedures were the second most commonly performed surgical procedure globally in 2019 as a result of tens of millions of bladder catheterization procedures via the urethra. Diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopies of the urinary/renal system are anticipated to thrive, with therapeutic endoscopic procedure volumes projected to increase the fastest of all procedures in this category.

By total estimated procedure volumes, general surgical procedures accounted for the third largest volume of total surgical procedures in 2019. Of the procedures encompassed under the general surgical procedure category, laparoscopic cholecystectomies - the treatment of gallbladder conditions, such as gallstones - accounted for the largest share of general surgical procedures and is anticipated to see the strongest growth over the next four years.

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) accounted for the smallest volume of global procedure volumes in 2019, but are projected to expand at a CAGR of 11.8% from 2019 to 2022. SRS is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that delivers precisely-targeted radiation to small targets (e.g. tumors) within the body. The complexity of performing SRS and high capital equipment cost has limited the availability of these procedures to countries with well-developed healthcare systems. 

LSI’s Global Procedure Volume Tracker projects procedure volume growth for over 200 procedures, offering country-specific and global insights on trends in surgical procedures. Surgical procedure volume growth shows no signs of slowing down, with newer interventions such as SRS and valve replacement surgery seeing rapid adoption across all major regions.  

Future entries in this series will focus on country-specific procedure volume trends, with the next entry focusing on the US.  This data is available in LSI's new Medtech Pro platform.