Growth of Ablation Technologies, Applications, Worldwide

The growth in sales of a medical technology is dictated by a unique combination of a specific technology in a specific clinical application in a specific geographic market.

In the Smithers Apex report, The Future of Tissue Ablation Products to 2020, the markets for the different ablation technology types were assessed per application in each of the major world geographies. See the groupings, below:

Ablation Types and Clinical Applications:

  • Electrosurgical/radiofrequency
    • Cardiac
    • Surgical
  • Microwave
    • Oncologic
    • Urologic
  • Laser
    • Aesthetic
    • Ophthalmic
    • Surgical
  • External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT)
    • LINAC Systems
    • Cobalt-60
  • Cryoablation
    • Cardiac & Vascular
    • Oncologic Surgery
    • GYN Surgery
    • Dermal/Cutaneous Surgical
  • Ultrasound
    • Ophthalmic (Cataract) Surgical
    • Multipurpose Surgical
    • Urologic Surgical
    • Multipurpose High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)

Geographic Areas:

  • United States & Other Americas
  • Largest Western & European States
  • Major Asian States
  • Rest of World

The Smithers Apex report contains the detailed assessment of ablation technology sales in each combination of technology, geography and clinical application. Below is illustrated graphically, sorted by compound annual growth rate in sales, each of the combinations.

Growth of Ablation Technologies by Clinical Application and Geography, 2014-2020


Source: Smithers Apex


Growth of modalities in tissue ablation

An examination of the future markets for technologies used in therapeutic ablation has support for a general and sustained growth in ablation technology revenues:


Source: Report #A145

However, when considering the relative growth of each of the modalities in tissue ablation, it is clear that some modalities are growing more aggressively than others:


Source: Report #A145

The “traditional” types of tissue ablation — electrosurgery and radiation therapy — are losing relative share as new modalities are able to penetrate caseload of other modalities, or even tap previously untreated patients and increase the aggregate caseload. In particular, radiofrequency and cryotherapy will demonstrate the highest growth over the 2011 to 2019 period.

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Ablation technologies proliferate from their many clinical benefits

Surgical management of soft tissues via "ablation" therapies, in which alternative energy types (radiation, electrosurgcal, ultrasound, etc.) are applied to excise, destroy, or otherwise produce a therapeutic effect at the tissue level has undergone a proliferation in development with all of these alternatives vying for caseload in clinical applications as diverse as tumor ablation, arrhythmia ablation, endometrial ablation for treatment of endometriosis, ophthalmic procedures for vision and disease treatment, cosmetic, and many others.

The alternatives run the gamut from well established, high volume, low growth procedures like conventional x-ray to emerging, relatively low volume, high growth procedures like microwave ablation in cancer and arrhythmia ablation, and every other type of procedure in between.

Below illustrates the growth versus market size distribution of ablation technology alternatives.


Source:  MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #A125, "Ablation Technologies Worldwide:  Products, Technologies, Markets, Companies and Opportunities."


Select technologies in ablation are among the most dynamic growth markets in the entire medtech sector.  The therapeutic and other benefits with these technologies included that they are typically less invasive than traditional surgery and are generally employed without the need for an implant. The therapies can be precisely metered and can be repeated. Emerging energy modalities therefore have the potential to grow at significant, double-digit rates over the next decade as delivery systems evolve.

Energy-Based Technologies (Ablation, Other), 2007-2017, Worldwide

Ablation Worldwide Market, 2007 to 2017
Ablation Worldwide Market, 2007 to 2017

Technologies for ablation and other energy-based treatments in medical/surgical markets are currently dominated by electrosurgical-type therapies, but a growing array of other modalities are creating new applications or penetrating existing ones.

At right is shown the forecast, by modality type, of ablation and other energy-based therapies through 2017. The most significant growth is expected to come from microwave, thermal, hydromechanical and cryotherapy, each of which will demonstrate compound growth rates in excess of 15% annually.

Excerpt from report #A125, “Ablation Technologies Worldwide Market,” (August 2008).  See link.  Report #A125, “Ablation Technologies Worldwide”, may be purchased online.