Hernia repair is the surgical operation to repair a hernia that’s “bulging of internal organs or tissues through the wall that contains it.” Today, most hernia operations are performed through traditional open surgery. The minimally invasive procedure using the da Vinci Surgical System is reported to be more efficient with a lower complication rate. The patient benefits of robotic-assisted ventral hernia repair surgery were substantiated by study results released by Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) in early August 2016. The study found that robotic-assisted hernia repair surgery enabled shorter hospital stays, fewer infections, blood loss reduction, and reduced likelihood of hernia recurrence.
Intuitive Surgical’s hernia repair procedure growth
Hernia repair is one of the major contributors to the growth in the use of the da Vinci Surgical Systems in general surgery. The surgeon retention rate and expansion of use continue to be encouraging for Intuitive Surgical. Inguinal hernia repair and ventral hernia repair are the fastest-growing application areas. An inguinal hernia occurs in the groin area, while a ventral hernia is in the abdomen. The company expects the general surgery volume growth to be driven primarily by hernia repair procedures. In 2015, US general surgery growth stood at ~31%. Most of this was contributed by hernia repair procedure growth. Intuitive Surgical is focused on driving its expansion across the potential hernia repair market in 2016 and beyond.
Medtronic (MDT), TranEnterix (TRXC), and Stryker (SYK) are some of Intuitive Surgical’s peers in the robotics surgical market. Investors can participate in Intuitive Surgical’s growth potential by investing in the Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG). VUG holds ~0.28% of its total holdings in Intuitive Surgical.
In the next part, we’ll discuss the company’s valuation compared to its peers.