Energy modalities and clinical applications in ablation technology

Technologies that destroy tissue for therapeutic benefit are collectively known as ablation technologies.  By a wide range of energy types or other mechanical methods, they are used to destroy, excise or otherwise treat tissue for therapeutic benefit, from the radiation of cancer, the destruction of the endometrial lining of the uterus causing endometriosis, the creation of myocardial tissue lesions to disrupt aberrant electrical to general surgical procedures and others.

The different ablation technologies that exist are diverse and include:

  • Electrical
  • Radiation
  • Light/laser
  • Radiofrequency
  • Ultrasound
  • Cryotherapy/cryosurgery
  • Thermal
  • Microwave
  • Hydromechanical

Due to the success of manufacturers who have adapted specific ablation technologies to specific clinical conditions, some modalities have concentration in one or more clinical areas.  However, for a great majority of procedures, multiple ablation technologies may be applied to produce the therapeutic benefit.  Hence, there is tremendous competition between different energy types.

As these technologies are being developed by manufacturers and applied, through device and equipment technologies, to specific clinical applications, there are varying degrees of product and technology development, especially considering some technologies, like electrocautery, laser and radiation, have been available for many years.

Below is an indication of the diversity of the market for ablation technologies, illustrating the relative size of the markets worldwide for each with the corresponding projected compound annual growth rate in product sales.

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #A145, "Ablation Technologies Worldwide Market, 2009-2019: Products, Technologies, Markets, Companies and Opportunities."

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