COVID-19 Impact on Pharmaceutical Packaging in Chemicals and Materials Industry

COVID-19 Impact on Global Thoracic Surgery Devices Market in Healthcare Industry

  • Healthcare
  • Feb 05, 2021

COVID-19 Impact on Global Thoracic Surgery Devices Market in Healthcare Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has gripped every nation's health care system and provisions on all levels. It is a respiratory disease which is caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2).  The first case of COVID-19 can be traced back to November, 2019 in China weeks before the authorities announced the emergence of the new virus.

The virus has affected all regions such as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America and Middle East and Africa. There is no region that is not affected by the virus. In March, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic referring to more than 118,000 cases of coronavirus disease in more than 110 countries and territories worldwide and the continuing possibility of further global spread.

While some countries have struggled to respond to the pandemic, others have faced the challenge far more effectively. The highest number of new confirmed cases globally was reported in December, 2020 (1,771,180). Countries such as the U.S., Brazil and Mexico were at the top with the highest death toll. 

The pandemic has particularly impacted the field of thoracic surgery with elective (or cases which do not require immediate attention) operation being delayed while in some regions being halted. Certain clinical staffs have been asked to stay at home, there has been re-distribution of the clinical workforce to attend the COVID-19 patients causing disruption in normal public services affecting the healthcare workforce. As a result, the impact is noticeable in the thoracic surgery devices market.

Surgery on the organs in the chest or thorax requires thoracic surgery. The food pipe, wind pipe, lungs, chest wall, heart and diaphragm are among the most popular treatments. Thoracic surgery is frequently associated with heart surgery and is known as cardiothoracic surgery. The aim of thoracic surgery is to treat organs in the chest or thorax that are diseased or damaged.


The pandemic has triggered unprecedented increased demand for certain medical devices while significant disruption to manufacturing and supply chain of various others. The pandemic forced various countries to go into lockdown which also disrupted the supply chain of several raw materials and components for certain surgical medical devices including the devices used for thoracic surgeries.

For instance,

  • In March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law. The CARES Act added Section 506J to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and provided the FDA for the first time with new authority that intended to help prevent or mitigate negative public health impacts of medical devices supply chain disruptions “during or in advance of a public health emergency declared by the Secretary under section 319 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act.” The creation of the law leads to the allowance of thoracic surgeries which was life threatening or of the utmost importance to be conducted while the patients who had to undergo thoracic surgeries to get an approval and the rest (unimportant as per the situation) were delayed indefinitely. This has slowed down the supply of thoracic surgery devices market.

However, the launch of new products and new acquisitions by the companies intend to increase the supply of the thoracic surgery devices market.

  • In December 2020, A&E Medical Corp., a cardiothoracic surgery business was acquired by Zimmer Biomet. USD 150.00 million cash at closing and USD 100.00 million cash payable this year which is included in the USD 250.00 million deals. In the dental, spinal and craniomaxillofacial and thoracic business unit of Zimmer Biomet, revenues from the portfolio will be remembered. This is intended to improve the availability of instruments for thoracic surgery.
  • In September 2020, Ethicon, a part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies announced the introduction of ECHELON ENDOPATH Staple Line Reinforcement (SLR), a new buttressing system designed to further reinforce staple lines and reduce possible complications during bariatric, thoracic and general surgical procedures. This is the company's first buttress solution designed for use with its own industry-leading GST reloaded ECHELON FLEX Driven Staplers which have been connected to lower air leakage rates and bleeding complications. ECHELON ENDOPATH SLR is to assist surgeons who want even more power along the staple line and to solve problems with current buttressing options that can be hard to load and result in uneven coverage of the staple line that can loosen during stapling procedures with traditional manoeuvring.


The complications of the virus reach well beyond respiratory failure to life-threatening cardiac, renal and immunological dysfunction to name a few. The consequences have been profound for cardiac surgery and cardiac surgeons. Although they are not as involved as the front-line warriors, they have been called upon to provide the local healthcare providers who have navigated the various challenges posed by the virus with leadership and direction. Due to their engagement in the prevention of the on-going pandemic, the demand for the thoracic surgery devices were reduced. Though, the growing demand for cardiovascular surgeries which are driven by factors which include the increase in the cardiac rhythm management (CRM) system replacements, the increasing number of CRM implantation facilities and also the rising popularity of CVD and lung diseases.

For instance

  • In North America, the numbers of cardiovascular surgeries are predicted to rise to 461,046 in 2021.
  • In January 2021, King George’s Medical University (KGMU) became the countries third dedicated thoracic surgery department. This would eventually boost the demand for thoracic surgery devices in the upcoming years. 
  • Due to technical advancement, improved surgical experience and confidence among high-risk individuals, the demand for thoracic surgery has also increased among older patients and patients with significant co-morbidities. It is also expected that the growth in demand for minimal invasive thoracic procedures would drive the market.
  • The cancellation of all surgeries except those deemed essential to minimize contact between patients and physicians caused a decline in the surgical practices during the pandemic which in-turn increased the demand for video-assisted thoracoscopic surgeries (VATS).
  • The high prevalence of lung cancer is likely to boost the global thoracic surgery devices market. Lung cancer is the second-most common type of cancer. According to the estimation of American Cancer Society, around 228,150 new cases of lung cancer are reported in 2019.  


COVID-19 has created havoc causing drastic changes in the healthcare sector. However, due to the new law added by the CARES Act, the thoracic surgery devices market had come to a halt. But the thoracic surgery devices market is expected to boom in the coming years majorly due to the increase in cardiovascular surgeries, high prevalence of lung diseases and rise in the number of people opting for VATS.