The health sector has been transforming for a while. It is time to look at medicine from another perspective, with less pain and less stress, as hospitalization offers shorter stays and ever-faster recovery. Continuous innovation in the health sector benefits the patient without compromising their safety or the quality of their care. in their institutions.
One example is the Fundación Medellín San Vicente Hospital, which continues to position itself as a touchstone in gastrointestinal surgery thanks to the implementation of a renovated laparoscopy wing able to provide early diagnoses and address highly complex diseases. The hospitals of San Benjamín de Colón, San Antonio de Gualeguay, and Santa Rosa de Villaguay in Argentina are, for their part, also aiming toward less invasive surgery and shorter recovery times by purchasing modern laparoscopic equipment for their operating rooms to complement the existing equipment and perform procedures with enhanced imaging quality.
Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is gaining importance in Latin American hospital centers. Invented in the early eighties, MIS steadily grew in followers thanks to technological advances. Currently, nearly80% of elective surgery is done using this method. The technique consists of performing minimal incisions—or even no incision by using natural orifices—through which a thin, tube-like device fitted with a video camera and light source, known as an endoscope, is inserted, allowing the surgeon to explore cavities inside the body visually.
According to GHI’s Medical Equipment Market Report: Latin America 2022, the equipment used for this surgery has made headway into Latin American markets. For example, in 2021:
Increase in robotic surgical systems in Argentina
Increase in laparoscopic surgical equipment in México
Increase in endoscopies In Colombian hospitals
Minimally invasive surgery is split into three categories:
1. Endoscopy: the surgeon uses an endoscope inserted into the patient’s natural cavities without incisions.
2. Laparoscopy: the surgeon inserts the endoscope into the patient through small incisions to perform the surgery.
3. Robotic surgery: the surgical instruments are fastened to robotic arms that the surgeon manipulates with millimetric precision by remote control.
“Modern” surgery is no guarantee of success.
Surgical procedures like those mentioned above have multiple advantages over traditional surgery, as they reduce soft-tissue trauma and blood loss, shorten recovery times, and achieve better aesthetic results. However, it should be noted that although these operations are considered safe, it is possible that, as with other surgical procedures, various complications may occur related to anesthesia, bleeding, or some infection.
Lastly, a no less important aspect is that, unfortunately, not all the body’s organs or tissues can be operated on with minimally invasive surgery. Although these limitations start disappearing as technological advances, they are not yet applicable in all operations.
Robotic surgery is still making good headway.
Robotic surgery started more than 30 years ago in the United States thanks to a combination of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and private enterprise, which established RAMS (Robot Assisted Micro Surgery). For the first time, a robot took part in a surgical operation when the PUMA 560 was used to insert a needle for a brain biopsy. This experiment has made it possible to perform functions that used to take months of preparation and recovery before using robots, enabling straightforward, precise procedures with excellent results.
Although it has taken time to penetrate Latin America, there has recently been somewhat of a boom in robotic surgery in the region. For example, in Mexico, Hospital Ángeles remains at the leading edge of technology with its Robotic Surgery Center, which has the Da Vinci XiHD Surgical System. The system can perform oncological, gynecological, and pediatric procedures. Similarly, medical centers like the Israelita Albert Einstein Hospital in Brazil have a Center of Excellence in Robotic Surgery to train surgeons in minimally invasive methods of this kind.
Aside from these specific examples, in July 2022, we published HospiRank 2022, a report on the best-equipped hospitals in the region. We included a section on robotic surgery showing there are currently 170 automated surgical systems throughout the region, distributed as follows:
of the region's robots
of the region's robots
of the region's robots
of the region's robots
Robotic surgery has gained ground in Latin America and other markets because of its advantages. Primarily, it enables surgeons to perform exact surgical procedures without being in the operating room. Instead, they can perform the surgery from a workstation by visualizing the inside of the body in a three-dimensional image. Although the operation may take longer than traditional endoscopic surgery, preliminary preparation makes for highly reliable and safe results.
Nanomedicine is just a little behind.
We should only talk about robotic surgery and technology by mentioning nanomedicine and the application of nanotechnology to biomedicine. Nanomedicine aims to construct, repair, control, and protect human biological systems through intervention on a molecular and nanometric scale for healthcare purposes.
Nanomedicine is divided into four steps:
● Nanodiagnostics: detection of the disease at the cellular or molecular level.
● Nanotherapy: the use of drugs acting selectively to destroy cell alteration so as not to damage healthy cells.
● Regenerative medicine: tissue and organ regeneration through gene or cell therapy or doses of regenerative substances.
● Controlled drug release: nanotechnology is used to introduce a drug that is designed to recognize the damaged area and then destroy it without affecting other structures in the body
The region has considerable challenges in developing and adopting new leading-edge technologies, such as poverty, lack of resources, and inequality, which interfere with growth. Yet, according to a study by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Brazil is the Latin American economy best prepared to approach this kind of technology.
Robotic surgery, with artificial intelligence, nanomedicine, and big data, is at the forefront of a technological movement that can transform the health sector and our lives forever.
Technology moves fast, offering infinite possibilities. Good planning is a way to make firm steps toward success. We’re reaching out to our team of researchers who, through In-Scope, our made-to-measure market research service, will help you source the necessary data to understand the present market and the growth opportunities in the sector.
Please reach out to us to learn how we can help you better understand the impact of these surgical advances in the region. To get started, you can explore a subscription to SurgiScope, the only database that records the surgical procedures performed in various Latin American countries. In addition, the database can give you an understanding of the procedures they most often perform, allowing you to gauge future product demand regarding surgical equipment, devices, or instruments.
Suppose you need to learn more about the growing market for robotic surgery in Latin America, nanomedicine, or other surgical breakthroughs. In that case, we can design and execute a personalized study for your company to bring into focus the opportunities, trends, challenges, and more.